The reluctant clone

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After finding the hand he lost in a jar, The Doctor pours some of his regeneration energy into it and creates a clone when he is shot by a Dalek after they stole the earth. He then leaves his clone to the universe Rose is now in. There is one snag – his clone doesn't want anything to do with him and he doesn't remember Rose.  He takes a new name and ends up working in Broadchurch.

After finding the hand he lost in a jar, the Doctor pours some of his regeneration energy into it and creates a clone when he is shot by a Dalek.  He then leaves his clone in the universe Rose Tyler is now in.  There is one snag – his clone doesn't want anything to do with him and he doesn't remember Rose.  He takes the new name of Alec Hardy and ends up working in Broadchurch.

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Chapter 1
A/N: From Rose's point of view, the events of Turn Left, The Stolen Earth and Journey's end never took place.  On Pete's world, they knew something was happening as stars were going out but Pete had sent Mickey to find out what it was, using a portable device and seeing glimpses of the Doctor but never telling Rose, just in case it wasn't really him.  She never knew Mickey had found him and Mickey, on his last trip back had said if he found his way back, he was going to stay.  Rose had pleaded with him to take her back with him but they knew it was too dangerous.  Mickey said he would come back if he didn't find The Doctor again.

THE ultimate 'Is Alec Hardy The Doctor story'

From Rose's point of view, the events of Turn Left, The Stolen Earth and Journey's end never took place. On Pete's world, they knew something was happening as stars were going out but Pete had sent Mickey to find out what it was, using a portable device and seeing glimpses of the Doctor but never telling Rose, just in case it wasn't really him. She never knew Mickey had found him and Mickey, on his last trip back had said if he found his way back, he was going to stay. Rose had pleaded with him to take her back with him but they knew it was too dangerous. Mickey said he would come back if he didn't find the Doctor again.

THE ultimate 'Is Alec Hardy the Doctor story'

He remembered most things, such as being created and a certain red-headed sassy temp from Chiswick. He also remembered wiping out the Daleks - again and every time he thought he'd done that, more of the blighters came back, they always survived, one or two of them got away and started all over again. Either that or he went back in time and found past versions of them or they slipped through the void into 1930's Manhattan and even then, one had got away.

Now he was back in the Tardis, surrounded by who he thought were his friends and his other self was glaring at him, for destroying the Daleks, for committing genocide but how could he have the nerve to accuse him of that? Did he just stand by and watch Davros create another empire and try wiping out all life in the universe again? Some choice he'd had.

The only regret he had was that it was him who had the nerve to actually do it, his so-called superior twin didn't have the guts. Not that he hadn't himself wiped out a few species along the way. He had some room to accuse him.

Donna was standing by his side, smiling.

"Oi, spaceman, cheer up. We're going home. This is going to be fun, travelling with the two of ya."

He thought about that. How could he travel with his twin, knowing what contempt the other one had for him? He walked away, walking around the console and his other self was watching him. Suddenly, the Tardis jerked and everyone began cheering, Martha, Jack, Sarah-Jane and Donna were hugging each other and Donna was pulling Sarah-Jane out of the way to hug Jack – typical. Mickey was more interested in Martha.

He didn't even know who this Mickey was. Was he supposed to know him? His other self obviously did or he wouldn't have let the man into the Tardis. He had been on board the Dalek Ship when he and Donna had burst out of the Tardis. There hadn't been time to ask.

They had landed, in a park by the look of it. Donna was calling her granddad, Sarah-Jane had said goodbye to him and was outside talking to his twin. Martha had just been talking to Mickey and had said goodbye to him, so had Mickey so he must have known him even if not the other way around. They had gone after Jack, who was trying to persuade Martha to quit working for UNIT and Mickey had muttered something about there being nothing left for him where he had come from though he didn't know where that was supposed to be. Something about his grandmother passing away peacefully.

Donna was sitting on the jumpseat and the other Doctor came back in.

"So, they've all left then? What now?" the clone Doctor asked.

"That's up to you. What do you want to do? You can't be left on your own in our universe, not after what you just did and you know it," the Doctor in brown stated.

"Don't tell me the thought never even crossed your mind? Well it must be the human part of me that was showing some compassion for the rest of the universe because if I hadn't destroyed them, they were still in a position to slaughter everyone. Or doesn't that count? Are the Daleks more important than the rest of life out there?"

"I'm not debating it with you. You know the reason why I wouldn't have done it."

"Do I? Just how much are we alike?"

They both stared at each other until Donna broke the stalemate.

She turned to the Doctor in brown.

"Take him to Rose."

"What? Who's Rose?" the clone Doctor asked.

The other Doctor and Donna looked at him.

"What do you mean? You know who Rose is."

The Doctor in brown was surprised.

Then he realised, they had never mentioned her since the creation of his clone and it seemed he had no recollection of her. He would have to discover her for himself, he couldn't force him to love the same woman as he did. Mickey had explained that Pete had thought it was too dangerous to send Rose to see what was going on, he had been sad that she hadn't returned but maybe, if they landed on Pete's world, he should go and see her. Anything was possible until the gap closed again, maybe there would be time for one trip.

"No or I wouldn't be asking. So is someone going to tell me? And while we're at it, who was that Mickey? He looked familiar, didn't we meet him in that alternate universe but his name was Ricky? Funny, I swear I used to know him."

"Just how much do you remember from the alternate universe?" the other Doctor asked him.

"I remember being in the cyber factory and Pete Tyler, the head of what was known as Vitex in that world being there, his wife had been taken inside and converted into a Cyberman. Then I remember being on the roof and hanging from a zeppelin. Then I went back to the Tardis and that Ricky came back with my suit and someone called Jake was there. I remember other things but I think that just about covers it."

"Don't you remember who else Pete Tyler was?"

"Nope. Should I?"

The other Doctor shook his head. It seemed his twin had lost all memory of Rose Tyler and her family and friends.

Before either of them knew it, Donna was taking charge.

"I don't know much about Rose, only what you told me but I think you loved her. Maybe you should go and find her. We've arrived in that parallel world."

She was walking around the console, now she knew the workings of the Tardis control panel and learned why it rocked about all over the place.

Both of The Doctors looked at her. The one in brown picked up on what she was saying. He had said goodbye to Rose, on the exact same beach they had just landed on. He now had a twin, someone who could give Rose what she needed – him, if she still wanted him.

"You brought me here, to the alternate universe? Just as well, I wouldn't want to be in your way after all and you obviously don't trust me. As for this Rose, who was she to me, or rather to us?"

"She was our travelling companion, since before our regeneration."

"Oh, you mean when we were all ears and leather," the clone chuckled. "Why would she have wanted to travel with me when I looked like that?"

"Don't scoff. Maybe she saw something in us."

"Whatever. So are you going to let me out then? The sooner I get out of here the better. Don't suppose you have a spare Tardis?"

"It doesn't work in this universe – remember? We crashed landed here the first time. It's only because of what's just happened that we just got here and the gap will close again soon. If you stay here, there's no way back."

"Good. Why would I want to go back?"

They all stepped though the doors onto the wet beach – Bad Wolf Bay. The Tardis was making warning noises behind them, they needed to leave soon or be trapped there themselves.

The Doctor in brown went in his jacket pocket and got out the psychic paper and his sonic screwdriver. He could always make another and get more psychic paper.

"Take these, you may need them, oh and here – take this." He brought out a piece of coral from the Tardis. "You can grown your own though it will take you a while. It will only work in this universe."

"No thanks, anyway, why would you trust me with a Tardis? You said yourself that I was dangerous."

"Suit yourself. We have to go now but remember this, neither of us wanted this, it was unexpected though I think I know now why I got my hand back. Go find Rose Tyler, she'll help you, explain to her how you were created. She's the only one in this universe that will understand you. You only have one heart but your other biology is superior to humans, so stay out of trouble or they may still lock you up to see what makes you tick. You'll heal faster if you get injured and your senses will be heightened plus your knowledge is the same as mine and you know what that entails so don't go showing off."

"Anything else?"

"Yes, you can still come back with us, we're still brothers."

"No, we might be that biologically but that's all. Will I still feel the same guilt as you about what happened to the Timelords? I don't feel anything."

"No, probably not. Still, although we can't agree, be safe and I hope you find a home here and if you do find Rose, don't be afraid to tell her what you feel. I made that mistake and I've regretted it every day since I left her here."

"You left her here? How could you do that?"

"It wasn't by choice. She has her mother and probably a stepfather by now, she'll explain it to you. It's not long after I left her here in the terms of our universe, they are ahead of us here, don't know exactly how much so she won't have forgotten me. She's probably mad at me and I really deserve that. If you can't do anything else for me, just do that one thing – find her and you won't regret it, I promise you."

The Tardis gave a deeper warning – the cloister bell.

"We really have to go now. Goodbye brother."

Donna stepped forward and kissed his cheek.

"Bye spaceman – look after yourself, even if it's just for me."

"Thanks Donna, you were a real friend. Just you go be magnificent. Goodbye Doctor."

The two of them stepped back inside the Tardis and the clone watched his twin and Donna fade from view. Whatever he was going to do, he had to get off this beach before nightfall. He had no recollection of ever being here before. Maybe he should go look up this Pete Tyler, he may remember him if he helped stop the Cybermen. Was he any relation to this Rose Tyler or did they just happen to have the same name?

He walked along the beach and found some fishermen loading up a van. He approached them and asked for a ride into the nearest town. He didn't understand what they were saying, not now there was no Tardis to translate for him. That was the only thing he was going to miss. One of the men understood he wanted a ride and pointed to the back of the van so he got in.

A short time later, they were pulling up in a town square and he got out. He would have to sonic a cashpoint to get some money, then remembered he had no account to hack into in this world, he had used to get money from an old account set up by UNIT back in the old one, one they used to pay him for the work he used to do for them and had never touched except in emergencies.

Still, he had the psychic paper, he could use it to get a room at least, he could bluff his way into staying a night or two and get out of Norway, maybe hitch a ride or go to the airport or was that the zeppelin port? He remembered the zeppelins, did they even have planes here? He walked into a hotel feeling cold, tired and hungry, all new senses to him but if he was going to make it on his own, he was not going to be known as the Doctor any more. He had a whole new universe just waiting for him, he could be whoever he wanted and none of that John Smith lark either.

Approaching the desk, a man looked up.

"Yes Sir, can I help you?"

"I hope so. Can I get a room for a few nights? I've found myself stranded. Got separated from some friends and I'll have to wait for them to come back for me."

Well it was sort of true, he was just in for rather a long wait.

He had no idea where he was going to go or what he was going to do. He could teach, he'd posed as a physics teacher once and taught at a boy's military academy back in 1913, he'd even once or twice pretended to be policeman.

The man behind the desk was getting a key and pointing to the register.

"Sign here please, Mr?"

The clone Doctor grinned. He had to choose a name, one he was going to stick to, get himself established as but he would have to check no-one else had that name before he went for it. He could use John Smith for now but it would look a bit dodgy. So he picked up the pen and signed his name – Alec Hardy, Glasgow.

Chapter 2

Rose was angry that Pete wouldn't let her go with Mickey. He had been backwards and forwards between universes, always coming back with the same story, he hadn't seen the Doctor in any of them. She was getting to the stage she didn't believe him, how difficult was it to find the right one? The dimension cannon was working, something was going on with the stars, they were going out and Pete had not trusted her to go find out what it was. She supposed her mother had something to do with that.

She had been miserable since she got here. It was 2009 here, for some inexplicable reason, they may have been three years ahead of her old world, it had taken the Cybermen three years to cross the void since their first visit in the future here but Pete couldn't explain it, she remembered that fateful day they landed and Torchwood had unleashed the army of ghost upon them. Which was how she had wound up here. They had tried everything for her to get back and now finally, something was working but Pete had insisted it was Mickey who went.

Pete had argued, "Who sends their own stepdaughter on a dangerous mission like that?"

Rose had replied she wasn't just anyone and should not receive any special treatment. She was a member of this universe's Torchwood as much as Mickey was.

This time though, Mickey had been away far too long and she was afraid he wasn't coming back, something he had said the last time he was about to leave. She thought he wasn't being serious. She walked into Pete's office to tell him she wanted to follow her friend, to wherever he had landed on his last trip.

"Rose, I've told you, it's far too dangerous. I know you want to go after him and I don't blame you but your mother would never forgive me if I let you go. Let's wait a bit longer and see if he comes back."

Rose knew he wasn't coming back, she knew now he had been serious. After getting home, Pete got a phone call. Still no signs of Mickey coming back and the dimension cannon, that measured different timelines was not working. How was he going to tell Rose? He looked out at the night sky, there were more stars than there had been, something had put things right again and now he knew Mickey had really gone, he'd not made it back.

Pete wandered into the family room, his young son, Tony, had been put to bed and Rose and Jackie were watching a movie. Rose saw his face as he walked into the room and paused the film. Jackie looked up.

"Rose, Jackie, the dimension cannon has stopped working, Mickey never came back. All we can assume is that he's on another parallel world, maybe not the one you came from but we are confident he made it somewhere. The team just reported that he made a jump, not that long ago, just a few yards, maybe to get away from something. That was it, the devices stopped working just after that. The stars have re-appeared though, everything is back as it should be."

"Yeah, the stars are back but Mickey isn't. Now there are only two of us from our own world and I'll never know if he found the Doctor or not."

Rose got up and walked out of the room. Jackie was going to go after her daughter.

"Leave her Jackie, she'll be alright. She lost him before, when he stayed here after their last time here."

"Yeah but she had the Doctor then, she has no-one but us now."

Pete comforted his wife while Rose lay on her bed – crying again. This world had brought her nothing but pain, Mickey had lessened that to a certain degree but he was gone again. She made her mind up, she was not staying working for Torchwood, how could she? As soon as she could, she was going to leave, take Pete up on his offer of letting her travel around or maybe settle somewhere by the sea. Somehow, the water had a calming effect on her although it should have the opposite, since she had not that long ago said goodbye to the man she loved on a beach.

Three years she had been here, in this world's time anyway, how long it had been on her own she could only imagine. Pete had said this world was three years ahead. Three years of being miserable apart from now, she had a young brother and Pete had adopted her and treated her like his own daughter, which was surprising since he'd never had any children with his first wife. He had been given a second chance as well.

The next morning, Rose went down to breakfast and to ask Pete about moving out.

"Where will you go Rose?" her mother asked.

"I think to the coast somewhere, out of the way. I'll look something up and make some plans. Maybe I'll start sketching again and sell them locally. I'll find a hotel while I look for somewhere to rent."

"At least let us take you down there, wherever you're going. Tony will love going to visit the seaside, maybe you can go to Margate or Brighton?"

"I want somewhere quiet, away from the crowds, maybe Dorset, there are some nice little towns on the coast, there's Lyme Regis, that's supposed to be nice and I'm sure there are other places."

Rose went back to her room and looked up the south coast, considering all the places she might want to go and found a sleepy little town called Broadchurch. She saw photos of the harbour area and the sea front, no tourist attractions as such, which was just what she wanted. There were a few hotels, even a caravan park right on the harbour which would come in handy if she couldn't find anywhere to rent so she went down to tell Pete.

Two weeks later, Rose and her family were driving down towards the town of Broadchurch, booking a room for Rose and a family room for Pete, Jackie and Tony.


After getting away from Norway, the Doctor who used to be known by that name and had looked up his new chosen name on this world's version of the internet, managed to hitch a ride across the sea and arrived in Glasgow, since that had been the first place he had thought of when he registered at the hotel in what he now knew was Bergen.

Using his psychic paper, he had got new ID in the name of Alec Hardy and hacked his way into several computer databases to do it, it was nothing he hadn't done before, just not on such a scale. He had stayed in Bergen three days, getting his ID sorted and had acquired a new bank account, nothing in it but he intended to pay his way and at least if he headed for Glasgow, he had a fair chance of gaining employment. Fortunately, the psychic paper also acted as universal credit so he was able to get away with a few things.

He happened upon two young Scottish students touring Norway and managed to persuade them his friends were not coming back for him and got a lift. One had remarked that he didn't have an accent but he had laughed it off saying he was practising his English. He didn't suppose the students and he would ever meet again and he wasn't likely to become famous although he vaguely remembered someone telling him he resembled a popular Scottish actor that he couldn't remember the name of.

Arriving at a hotel, he made his way to the stores to get new clothes, his blue suit was getting tiresome and his purple t-shirt needed a wash, not to mention he needed a shave but looking in the mirror, he kind of liked his new 'scruffy beard' look and thought he would keep it. It would keep the women away anyway, for the time being.

He thought back to his twin, telling him to go find this Rose Tyler but he didn't even know where to begin. Did he even want to find her? She was nothing to him but she had meant something to the other Doctor, why would he send him to find her? The stupid idiot should never even have left her here, mother or no mother with her and he didn't even know her but he would never leave anyone stranded in another universe, not intentionally unless there was no other choice.

From now on though, he was Alec Hardy, what he was going to be, he still hadn't decided. It was 2009 here, his twin's driving always left a lot to be desired but he had got something right for a change. He picked up a newspaper, in a place called Sandbrook, two young girls had gone missing and the police had no clues. Huh, he could do better with his eyes closed. That was when it struck him – he could be a policeman, not just a uniformed copper but a detective. Better not get too fancy, chief inspector might be too much but detective inspector, he could manage that, invent a service history for himself, it would be easy.

He could walk in, with his transfer papers from the Glasgow Police and take charge. So he set to work, getting into the police database and inserting himself, how he rose up through the ranks, was a loner, never married but a string of fake girlfriends though maybe he might invent a failed engagement at least or a failed marriage, no kids though, that could get messy. He could see it all as he invented a whole life for himself, it was easy. He just had to remember what he had invented and stick to it.

So he rented a car, with his fake driving licence and drove out to Sandbrook and walked into the police station. The desk sergeant did not look amused.

"Can I help you Sir?"

Alec got his psychic paper out.

"You had better be able to, what's your name?" he asked in his best Scottish accent, one he used when he had met Queen Victoria in Scotland.

The desk sergeant stood up straight.

"Sergeant Campbell Sir. What can I do for you?"

Alec smiled to himself, he would enjoy this. If he snapped at everyone and acted like he expected them to jump through hoops for him, he would get things done a lot faster. If he was soft like his twin, he would get nowhere.

"Who's in charge here? Get them here now. I've just transferred from Glasgow and I've been put in charge of the Sandbrook murders, those two young girls who were killed."

The situation had escalated while he had been establishing his new police identity

The sergeant put his pen down and picked up the phone. Apparently, they had only one DI in the station and he had got nowhere with the case.

"Sir, there's a Detective Inspector Alec Hardy here, says he's been sent from Glasgow to take over the murder investigation."

DI Davidson was not impressed. Who did those clowns in Glasgow think they were? Still, it would free him from the burdens of this endless case, chasing their tails and it had been going on long enough, maybe it was time to hand it over.

"Send him to my office."

The sergeant put the phone down.

"This way Sir."

He lifted the counter and led Alec down a corridor and into the squad room. A tall, thin man was sat at a desk behind a glass door. Alec thought if he looked thin, this other DI looked even thinner. He held his hand out, his psychic paper held open.

"DI Alec Hardy and you are?"

"DI Davidson. No-one told me you were coming. It would have been nice to have been informed I was being taken off this case. Our chief is away at a conference, won't be back until Monday, until then, I'm in charge around here. We don't have a DCI either, he just retired and they say we don't justify getting a replacement, cut-backs."

Alec thought how typical, it was the same in every universe, it was all down to costs.

"Right, fill me in then and I'll need new ID for this division. I've just arrived, got a hotel room, Glasgow said you'd pay for it for a few weeks until it's decided if I'm staying or not."

That would save him conning another hotel into giving him free accommodation.

"I'll get personnel onto it, just give them the details. Do you need a car? There's a spare one in the Police compound."

Alec thought he may as well, save paying for the rental.


The case dragged on but Alec was determined not to give up. DI Davidson continually harassed him, saying if Hardy was so clever, why hadn't he cracked the case but the killer was always one step ahead. Two years passed them by, resources had been scaled back, the families were hounding him for answers which he couldn't give them and he thought about packing it all in and just walking out. After all, he wasn't a real DI, it had all started out as another challenge for him but his ways were set now, he had got tougher and he thought less and less about his twin and his old life.

He had felt pain, he instinctively knew his twin had regenerated, he couldn't explain it but he felt saddened by the fact that even if somehow, he got back to the other world, he would know his brother but they would have nothing left in common, not that they ever had but even less now. He thought the pain he felt in his chest was the pain from losing his twin but it seemed more real and he began to suspect it was something more serious, maybe his single heart wasn't all it should be. Maybe something had gone wrong at his creation, meta-crisis half Timelords had been very rare and little was known about them.

Even with his still superior biology, he couldn't control the pains he kept getting and it was gradually getting worse. He would have to confide in someone or it may give out on him. He had tried to find time to relax but the case was getting on top of him. Why didn't he just quit? No, that wasn't his way back when he had been like his twin and he wasn't giving up now.

He went out of the town and registered with a GP, Dr Baxter and Alec explained his predicament. The man listened to him as Alec pleaded with him not to tell his superiors about his condition which was diagnosed as heart arrhythmia.

Alec sat with his shirt undone, the GP listening to his chest on the second visit.

"Alec, you need surgery for a pacemaker. You have to take it easy, take some time off and get yourself sorted but I'll be honest with you, you may not survive the operation but if you don't have it, you'll be dead anyway. Do you know what brought it on?"

Alec thought about laughing out loud. Yeah, of course he knew exactly what it was – his creation. While he still appeared outwardly as a normal human male, he was just thankful his GP didn't investigate further and cart him off to be studied by a bunch of scientists. He silently thanked his twin for providing the means for him being in existence, his brother, the one with the two hearts and he only had one, that didn't work properly. Just his luck. So to satisfy the GP's curiosity he could only come up with one explanation – work.

"Okay, have it your way. I'll provide the necessary paperwork to keep you going but as soon as this case is over, you need to have that operation. I'll put your medication on a repeat prescription, just ring my receptionist and I'll send another one to be collected from the local pharmacy next door, unless you want it sending nearer the station?"

Alec frowned. Was he kidding?

"No, I'll come out here to collect it. If I have to change it I'll let you know. These pills, will they keep me going?"

"Aye, as long as you don't overdo it and don't do anything stupid and you take them twice a day. I'll give you two months supply at a time but don't wait too long."

Then they had a breakthrough. A car the suspect had recently sold was searched and a pendant belonging to one of the girls was found in the glove compartment. Alec went with his DS to collect it, a woman DS called Sandra McQueen and against his better judgement, after she offered to take the evidence back to the station, he watched her drive off.

Chapter 3

Rose Tyler had settled in Broadchurch. She had taken up sketching again and rented a small apartment on the road up into town. It was a new building, just behind the newly built police station that locals called 'The Folly' because of its rounded front and extension at the back, it looked like they were two separate buildings. It had been spare land on the corner leading from the harbour and the Esplanade, Rose didn't know what had been there previously. Now there were new apartments and a Bistro at either side of it, the station being set back and steps leading up to it.

Pete was still granting her an allowance every month and she made a bit from selling her sketches to local gift shops on the High Street. She loved wandering down the coast, taking photos and then drawing them when she got back, she had bought an all-in-one printer and some high quality paper that when framed looked like it had been done professionally, she bought her cardboard frames from a reliable source on an auction website and even sold some online on the same site.

She had rented a two bedroom apartment, using the spare room to store her supplies and sometimes her mother and brother would come down and stay for a few days, Jake would bring them down and collect them. Jake was the only other person in this universe that understood her, especially since Mickey left. A few people at Torchwood knew the truth about her and Jackie but it was never mentioned at the few get-togethers she went up to London for such as Christmas and birthdays.

She had been in Broadchurch three and a half years and had made a few friends, including a detective sergeant called Ellie Miller who had just had a baby and who was debating whether to go back to work or stay at home, Rose often envied her friends having children but she couldn't settle down, the only man she had ever really loved would have more than likely regenerated and look entirely different by now and she wondered if he would even remember her.


Alec Hardy had watched his DS drive away from the car lot, he planned on just going back to his one bedroom apartment and rest, he'd only just held it together but his head was clearing, enough to drive anyway. He could have just shared a car but he didn't want to go back to the station. Besides, he'd suspected that McQueen fancied him, she was always flirting with him but she also flirted with another male DS so he didn't think she was serious, the only trouble was, the male DS was married. Still, it wasn't his business to interfere with the ins and outs of marital bliss, just as long as it didn't interfere with the case.

What he hadn't known was that Sandra and her what was now known as her lover had planned a little celebration and she stopped off at a hotel for a few drinks and a quick get together and carelessly forgot to take her purse and the evidence into the hotel with her. A first year rookie mistake if ever there was one but she had been his responsibility and the male DS had denied he had even been there for fear his wife would find out.

So, after the pendant was lost, they never found who had broken into her car, Alec had been called out and chewed the woman out for being so stupid but his bosses felt he should share some of the blame and hung him out to dry. The case folded, there was nothing to hold the suspect on and as Alec stepped out of the court, he could feel the man's smugness over the other side of the courtyard. He was finished, he knew it, all that time wasted, nothing, then at the crucial moment he had left someone under his command to take vital evidence back and she had screwed it up – big time.

He knew his condition was getting worse, especially the last few months. Dr Baxter had kept on at him, have the operation or it was all over. Well his career such as it had been, invented for the most part was over. They would sweep him under the carpet, move him to the Outer Hebrides or even worse to run a one-man operation as punishment but one thing was quite clear - he couldn't stay in Sandbrook. He couldn't face the parents of the two girls, he scurried away to his car and drove off before they realised he had gone. Someone was following him, a blue car and he could see a woman driving.

It was the bane of his new life – Karen from The Herald. She had been hounding him since day one and he did not want her to learn where he lived. He pulled into a roadside café and stayed in his car. He needed his medication and quickly swallowed two pills and swilled them down with half a bottle of water he kept for the purpose just as she tapped on the window.

"DI Hardy, are you trying to get away from me?"

He didn't deign to answer her.

"What do you want? If you're after my resignation, it's not your place. I decide if I quit or not. Do you know how many cases are lost or abandoned every year? Have you any idea how many people walk free from court on a technicality or lack of evidence? We lost the case, yes but it doesn't mean we are giving up, we'll get him, everyone makes mistakes and when he makes another one, I'll be waiting."

Karen just stood there, not knowing how to reply. She had been on him since day one and finally, when he seemed like he was going to reprieve himself, it had all fallen apart. He did rather have a point, cases were won and lost every day but this one had stuck with her, the sheer capacity of it all had got to her and she had made it personal.

"Okay. I'll leave you alone – for now but if you screw up again, I'll be waiting for you and you won't get off as lightly."

"Is that a threat Ms ?" Alec asked, raising his eyebrows.

"Take it as you want. The families were failed, you were in charge even if someone else lost the evidence and you won't even name that person."

"It would be too easy to lay the blame on someone else, it happened on my watch, I'm ultimately responsible. Now if you'll excuse me, it's been a long day and tomorrow, my fate will probably be decided and you may just get your wish of getting me thrown out. Don't try following me or I'll arrest you for stalking."

It was all he could do not to run the woman over but that wouldn't do him any good. Back when he was a Timelord, he'd had so much patience but it had grown even thinner. Finally home, he wondered just what was in store for him. Perhaps he would have to have that operation but they would find out his secret, that he was only part human and he could never allow that. He had one hope – the Torchwood of this world was open for business, even though he detested what they had done and if he remembered correctly, he'd learned that Pete Tyler was in charge, the man who he had helped free this world from the Cybermen, despite the fact they had allowed them to invade the other universe but he could use them.

If anyone could help then Pete Tyler could, he owed him for playing his part in it all and maybe the man was connected somehow to this Rose Tyler. He hadn't forgotten what his twin had said, he just had been so engrossed in the case for far too long to think too much about her and find her but what then? What if he did find her? She was nothing to him. His twin had been in love with her, that much had become clear.

His fate was indeed decided the following day when he had travelled to Glasgow to face the chief constable and a committee.

"DI Hardy, it has been decided that although you dedicated a considerable amount of time on the Sandbrook murder case, lack of evidence forced it to be thrown out of court. You are still a valued member of the constabulary so we are going to be lenient with you. We advise you take some paid leave and we are locating another force to take you on, maybe not in Scotland, vacancies cannot just be created and it may take some time. Some chiefs will be reluctant to take you but to make it easier, on paper we are not holding you responsible for the actions of DS McQueen although the fact will not be made public. Do you have anything to say?"

He would have done, years ago. He was widely known for his witty banter in those days but they were gone now, he was more than literally a new man, he was a new human and still getting used to it.

"No, I'll accept a transfer if that's what it takes. Will I be able to turn any unsuitable offers down or will I just have to take anything that is thrown to me?"

Crikey, it sounded like they were tossing a bone to a dog or a lifeline to a drowning man. May he was both.

"Yes, if you feel an offer is inappropriate, you may turn it down but offers will be few and far between. We would advise you not to take anything lightly, it would be at least another six months before you can apply for another transfer. Have you anything to add?"

"No, I think that just about covers it. How long will I be on leave?"

"As long as it takes, there will be no loss of pay and wherever you get accepted to, your expenses will be paid for up to six months. If you have a house or an apartment in Sandbrook, you'll get a moving allowance if you need to store any of your belongings. We're being more than generous under the circumstances."

Alec supposed they were, he had allowed a junior officer to screw up and he was getting away with it, more than the DS was, she had been given a reprimand on her record and the male DS she had been messing around with had impending divorce proceedings against him.

After leaving the hearing, he stopped at a café to decide what to do next. He was on leave, he could go down to London and find Pete Tyler. So after getting home and looking up Torchwood, which took some doing as they were not listed publicly and receiving a warning message on screen that he was searching illegally, he surmised that if they were based in Canary Wharf in the other universe, they would be the same here. He didn't fancy driving down all that way, he'd handed back his car to the Sandbrook Police when he had got back from Glasgow so he made his way back there, keeping his apartment for now and got a train from Glasgow to London and hoped he'd get into Torchwood Tower, a place he never thought he would be seeing again - in any universe.

He had booked a hotel near Canary Wharf and thought he would try his luck walking in the front door - easier said than done. When asking to see Peter Tyler, he was shown out and told that the building was not open to the public. He had to go to plan B, trying to remember where Pete Tyler used to live. He was sure Pete had told him, after they got out of the cyber factory. Maybe he should just look him up in the phone book, some things never changed, public figures never heeded that their names could be easily looked up if someone really wanted to know. He connected to the hotel Wi-Fi and sure enough, found his address and after ordering a rental car to be brought to the hotel, went off in search of the house.

He supposed the man would have some security on the gate but he just drove into the grounds and pulled up outside a rather impressive mansion and got all the way up to the front door. Taking in his surroundings, he could have sworn they looked familiar yet he had never been here. He had met Pete Tyler in the cyber factory after he had got in through the cooling tunnels of Battersea Power Station and had been taken to the control room where Pete was also being held after trying to rescue his wife. They had swapped stories and found out they were on the same side and worked together to get out. Pete had some friends waiting outside on the roof and they had made their way up after giving the people brought in to be made into Cybermen their minds back.

He was still a bit vague on it, his twin's memories, not his. If anyone had asked him about his travels with Martha and Donna, he wouldn't have stopped talking about them for a fortnight. He knocked on Pete Tyler's front door and was greeted by the man himself, who just stood there, a slight glint of recognition on his face.

"Yes, can I help you?" Pete asked, looking at Alec, who was dressed in his light grey suit and his black overcoat.

"Yes, you're Pete Tyler, do you remember me? I didn't have a beard or a Scottish accent but we met a few years ago, during the invasion of the Cybermen, then we met again briefly when they invaded my world."

Pete stepped back. It couldn't be, could it? This man with the scruffy beard and the Scottish accent couldn't be The Doctor, surely?

Pete found his voice.

"You'd better come in, what did you say your name was?"

Pete wasn't entirely sure about this so he was playing it safe for now.

Alec held out his hand.

"Detective Inspector Alec Hardy but you may have known me back then as the Doctor."

Pete was the only other person apart from this Rose Tyler who knew who he was.

Just then, a blonde-haired woman came out of one of the rooms with a small fair-haired boy. The woman let out a shriek and covered her mouth.

"Doctor – what the hell are you doing here?"

Well someone at least recognised him even if he didn't know who exactly she was.

Chapter 4

Alec Hardy stood in the hallway of the Tyler residence, mansion was not the word for it.

"Ah, you must be the new Mrs Tyler. I'm Alec Hardy," Alec said, not sure if the new Mrs Tyler was aware of his existence.

"It's okay Doctor, she knows about you. Jackie, calm down and let him explain. Doctor, come into my study and we'll talk."

"Actually, technically, I'm not called Doctor any more, not for the last few years. You see, I'm not really him, I'm his twin, or clone or duplicate, whatever you want to call it."

"Then what's with that stupid Scottish accent then?" Jackie demanded to know, scooping her son into her arms.

"You're called Jackie?"

Alec wondered whether she was aware there had been another woman bearing that name, Pete's first wife had been called that.

"Yes, so what. Has he gone loopy Pete? I'm going to take Tony up to the nursery to play then I want a full explanation and don't you two dare start without me."

Pete and Alec looked at each other. He didn't know this woman but he knew enough not to cross her. Pete decided to just make small talk.

"So, how did you get here? If you're the Doctor's twin, has he been here and not bothered coming to see us or Rose?"

"Rose? You mean Rose Tyler is related to you? Is she your daughter?"

Pete looked at him, Jackie maybe right.

"Doctor, or Alec, whatever, have you lost your memory? You don't know Jackie and you don't know Rose but you know me?"

"That's about the size of it. I remember you, from the Cyberman invasion here and briefly when they invaded my world but apart from that – nothing. I think we should wait for your wife, your second wife, right?"

Pete nodded.

"So is she Rose's mother then?" Alec asked.

Pete nodded again.

"I adopted Rose when I married her mother. Doctor, you sent them both here, to this world and you don't remember?"

Alec stared blankly at him. He knew that much, his twin had left them here but now it seemed he had sent them here but what for? Something to do with the Daleks and Cybermen fighting, it wasn't safe on their own world – oh, it was coming back to him. Rose and Jackie must have been there, at Canary Wharf, got caught up in it for some reason and he had rescued them maybe, Pete must have taken them in when they got here. Yes, that had to be it.

Jackie stormed into Pete's study.

"Right you, Alec or whatever name you're now using, explain yourself and it had better be good."

Alec had known this woman all of five minutes but he knew who was the boss in this household and it wasn't Pete.

"Mrs Tyler, I would love to explain but there is something you need to know. I was the Doctor, well part of him and if you're from the other universe, you'll remember the Christmas the Sycorax appeared over London?"

"Of course I do, that was when you came crashing back to Earth with a new face and slept through it all."

"You were there? When I regenerated?"

"Well you didn't change in front of me but you did in front of Rose, she was devastated."

"Well all I remember was starting to regenerate then waking up on the floor of the Tardis, then I stepped outside onto the Sycorax ship, with Harriet Jones. Then I had a sword fight with their leader, he cut off my hand, I grew another one back because I was still in my regenerative cycle and snatched another sword and beat him. Well, to cut a long story short, someone found that hand and preserved it and gave me it back, a few years ago."

Jackie and Pete were staring at him like he was mad. It obviously didn't coincide with Jackie Tyler's version of the events.

"Go on Doctor," Pete said.

"Well a few years ago, the Daleks were stealing planets, to make some sort of engine to power a device to wipe out the universe."

"The stars were going out, back in 2009, we sent Mickey to find out what was going on."

"Mickey? I met him but I didn't know who he was. Anyway, the other me, he got shot by a Dalek but instead of regenerating, he healed himself and poured the rest of the energy into the hand. Once we were on the Dalek ship, this companion of mine, Donna, got trapped inside the Tardis, it was deposited into the heart of the Dalek ship and burst into flames but she touched the hand and I grew out of it. There was no time as the Tardis was about to be destroyed so I just got us out of there."

"I told you he was mad, he's certifiable," Jackie remarked.

"Shush Jackie, let him finish," Pete insisted.

"Well once we got away, we put the planets back where they came from and went back to Earth. The only problem was, there was now two of us plus Donna, she received something back when she touched the hand, she got a Timelord brain and I got some of her human traits which is why I've had to suppress them and made myself Scottish. Not that there was anything wrong with her, it was mostly her that saved everyone but it was the fact that it reminded me too much of my twin. He brought me here and told me to find Rose but I don't know who she is."

Jackie got up, Alec thought she was going to lay into him but she didn't. Instead, she put her arm around him.

"Doctor, I don't know exactly what your relationship with Rose was, goodness knows what you two used to get up to in that Tardis and when you were travelling but she loved you. She was heartbroken when you left her here, she cried for months and when we saw there may be a way back to you, I stopped her from taking it because I didn't want her to go through it all again if she didn't find you or you had changed again. I'm so sorry you don't remember her."

Alec didn't know what else to say.

"Please, don't tell her I was here, if it causes her distress. I came to ask for your help Pete, I don't know who else to turn to. I only have one heart and I think I may be dying, I have heart arrhythmia and I need an operation but I can't just go to any hospital, they'll do more than fix my heart."

Pete knew full well what they would do to him, full Timelord or not. Jackie felt even more sorry for him, even though he had deserted her daughter, not by choice though, he had been saving them from impending doom – again.

"I think she'll want to know that you're here, even if it's not the other you. Why did he leave you here anyway?" Pete asked.

Alec didn't want to answer that.

"Because to defeat the Daleks, I had to do something he didn't approve of and it seems he was annoyed with me plus I didn't know about Rose. I think that was the deal breaker. I know he loved her but I just don't have recollection of her, or you and when I met Mickey, I didn't know him either. He's okay by the way, well he was, he went chasing after one of my old companions, Martha."

Jackie was at least happy to hear he was okay, Rose would want to know about that but if this Doctor or Alec as he was now calling himself didn't want her to know about him, she couldn't tell her about Mickey either.

Pete got up and paced the room. The least he could do was help the man, he had tried to help him save his first wife after all.

"Okay, Alec, I'll help you but Rose stays out of this for now. She's in a safe place, down on the south coast, I'll not tell you where though. Where are you staying?"

"In a hotel near Canary Wharf, I went to Torchwood to try and find you but they wouldn't let me in."

"I don't spend much time there now, I mostly work from my office here. Jake runs the day to day operations, you should have asked for him. Do you remember him?"

"Oh, you mean Jakey-boy! Of course I remember him. He works for you now?"

"Since he and Mickey came back from locking down all those cyber factories, not that it did any good, they still escaped. I'll call him and we'll go down there, I'm sure someone there will be able to help you. If not, I can buy a surgeon or two's silence, we have some trusted outsiders who help us out from time to time."

Alec was relieved. He had come to the right place and Pete was still willing to help him but he still wasn't sure about Rose.

"How do you think Rose would react if she found out I'd been here? How will you keep it from her?"

"Leave that to us, she doesn't come back home much anyway, it won't be that difficult. Like you said, you're not him, it would be wrong to get her hopes up, you're a completely different man now. Did you drive here?"

"Yes, from my hotel, I came down by train. I've been living near Glasgow, in a place called Sandbrook and inserted myself as a detective inspector, been there about three years or so. They don't know about my condition, they put me on leave because a case went wrong. Now I'm waiting for a transfer."

"Sandbrook? You mean you were in charge of that murder investigation? Of course, now your name rings a bell but I never knew that was you, there wasn't much of it in newspapers down here. So you're lying low?"

"Something like that. I thought I would take the opportunity to look you up."

"Well I'm glad you did, I owe you for the first time you were here so call it even. Why don't we meet tomorrow, at Torchwood? I'll let Jake know to expect you and they'll let you in. Say 10am?"

"Fine and thanks. I don't know what else I could have done. I may still have some superior biology but my heart isn't amongst them. Trust me to only have one heart and there's something wrong with it, it must have happened when the meta-crisis occurred."

Jackie was doing her best to keep up.

"Meta-crisis? What's that?"

Alec didn't know how to explain.

"When Donna touched the hand and I was created, something must have gone wrong. Like my memories not being intact."

"Well, you can tell us all about it when we get you fixed up. I take it you're in no rush to get back to Sandbrook then?" Pete asked.

He certainly wasn't.

Grateful for Pete's help, Alec went back to his hotel feeling fairly optimistic. Maybe tomorrow his problem would be solved, well one of them. Now they had been talking about Rose, he was more than curious. She must have really been something, to put up with him, to stay with him when he'd regenerated and he really wished he remembered her. He knew his twin had never acted on his emotions, he never would. He could never have allowed himself to get emotionally involved with someone he travelled with. Well maybe there had been one or two exceptions to that rule that he hadn't cared to admit.

Maybe if he saw a photo of her, he might remember her. He thought of looking her up but she was probably protected by Torchwood and he would get another warning. He'd ask Pete or Jake tomorrow. Should he ditch the Scottish accent though? He had almost slipped when he mentioned Jake. No, he had to stick to this charade although being in London, he wouldn't stand out if he spoke with a cockney accent, not like he would have done in Glasgow. He would probably have been lynched there for speaking like Donna.

Dead on 10am the next morning, he was walking up to the front of Torchwood Tower, getting a glare from the security man on the door, hoping he wouldn't get thrown out again. Maybe he had gone about it the wrong way yesterday.

"I'm here to see Jake Simmonds," Alec stated.

The man let him past.

As he approached the desk, a lift bell sounded and Jake stepped out.

"Doctor! Good to see you again though you could do with a shave. What's with the beard?" Jake laughed, holding his hand out.

Alec stepped up and shook his hand.

"Good to see you too Jakey-boy and don't be so cheeky. Do you like it and my new accent? Been living in Glasgow, trying to fit in. How much did Pete tell you?"

"Enough, come on. I'll take you to his office, we can talk there. So what have you been up to, besides being a police detective?"

Alec didn't know what else to say.

"Working. So you run this place then?"

Jake beamed. He had come a long way since his days as a freedom fighter.

"Worked my way up, after Mickey and me got back from liberating the world of the rest of the Cybermen. Pete said you saw Mickey, before you came here. He was okay?"

"Yes, he was, he was chasing after one of my ex companions."

Jake smiled. Same old Mickey. He knew his old friend had moved on from Rose, that they had just remained friends. He had also been told by Pete not to mention Rose and Pete would explain later. Maybe the Doctor, or Alec as he now called himself, found it too painful to talk about her. He had also been warned not to contact Rose and tell her that her long lost lover had returned. She might have fooled everyone else into thinking they had only been friends but she didn't fool him, he had seen the looks they had given each other when they had been here before and the way she now confided in him, telling him all the things she couldn't talk to her mother about, how she had longed to be with him, it had only meant one thing, they had been lovers in the other world.

Jake led Alec into Pete's office and sat on a chair, Alec taking the other one.

"I filled Jake in on some of what you told me yesterday, he thinks Dr Harper may be able to help you. I've asked him to join us. While he's not a heart specialist, he's our resident head doctor and an expert in using alien technology, especially medical alien technology and he may have something that could help. You may not have to go through an operation. If he hasn't got what you need, we can bring someone in, we have a full operating theatre in the med lab."

"Can I ask you something Doctor, sorry, Alec? How long have you been in this world and you never looked us up?"

"Because he's lost some of his memories Jake, that's why." Pete replied for Alec.

"That's not the only reason, I wanted to make it on my own, I thought I didn't need help and now I have to admit that I do. I don't want to appear weak. You know Jake, I remember you, I remember Ricky and that's about it and no, I don't remember Rose, I just wish I did so anything I did here, involving her, I have no recollection of."

Jake looked at him. Pete was right, if Rose knew he was here, she would be devastated if he didn't know who she was.

Chapter 5

They were joined in Pete's office by Dr Harper. He was an expert in medical alien technology and had achieved excellent results using the equipment found in a spaceship at the foot of Mount Snowden, nearly twenty years before. It was way beyond anything they had on Earth, several seriously injured Torchwood members had been treated for various ailments, all were back on their feet in no time. So when he saw that Alec did indeed look ill, he took him down to his lab to conduct some tests. Although he had never attempted to deal with a heart problem before, he wasn't about to give up. Not wanting to give the man false hope, he was quite candid about his chances of being able to help him.

Alec tried not to look disappointed.

"So what you're trying to tell me is that you have nothing in the entire Torchwood organisation to help me?"

Owen Harper wasn't going to be defeated.

"Alec, there is equipment we haven't even tested yet. It takes time and we don't always have the patients to test it on. No-one had come to me with a heart problem before. Pete Tyler told me that you can't be treated in a normal hospital, you're part alien. Don't worry, everyone here is quite used to aliens of one kind or another, where do you think we get all this stuff from?"

He smiled as Alec fastened his shirt back up after he was unhooked from the various machines ticking away.

"Look Alec, if the worse comes to the worse, we can get a heart specialist in here to perform the surgery but I'm sure your own GP told you about the risks?"

Alec nodded. He had also been told he had less than a 50/50 chance of surviving. Trust his twin not to be around, maybe something could have been done if he had still been on board the Tardis but it had been his choice to be left behind. Maybe his twin did know about it and agreed to leave him here because he knew Pete Tyler would be able to help him but that didn't explain why he had no knowledge of Rose.

"Are you going to be staying in London for a while?" Owen asked.

"I don't know, I'm waiting for a transfer, I don't know where I'll be going. I may just go home for a while, if a transfer comes through, I need to give up my apartment and get organised."

"Well in the meantime, no need to tell you to try to take it easy and from what I was told, you're not one for actually doing that. I'll get a team to go over the rest of the equipment we've never tried, see if there is anything remotely near what we need to fix you up. I'll contact one of my colleagues at the University of London, a top heart surgeon, he'll keep your secret, he gets paid enough. I'll have Jake get in touch with you when we find something but if your condition worsens, call him right away and we'll get you down here as fast as we can. I really want to help you Alec, Pete said you helped with the Cyberman invasion a few years back."

"Did he also tell you my other secrets?"

Owen raised his eyebrows.

"What secrets? You mean your superior biology? Pity you don't have two hearts then."

Alec laughed. If only the man knew. He'd obviously never met his twin.

He thanked Owen and made his way back to Pete's office.

"Ah, how did you get on Alec? Can Owen help you?"

"He's working on it. He may have to call a surgeon in, it may cost a bit to buy his silence."

"Let me worry about that, I'm sure you can't afford it on a police detective's salary and your medical insurance won't buy you a top specialist even if you were normal. I know you have secrets Alec, try not to feel like you have to hide them from me. Rose told me most of it and I know you're not the Doctor, that you're different but around here, we're used to it. Don't worry, we'll get you sorted. When are you going back home?"

"In a day or two, thought I would have a look around while I'm here."

"Well, come to dinner, tomorrow night and we'll catch up. I promise we won't talk about Rose or where you two used to travel to. You could tell me the full story of how you were created, if you want?"

"I don't think so Pete, no offence but I'd rather forget about it. It happened and I'm here but if your wife remembers the other Doctor, don't tell her I think he regenerated again, a few years ago. I felt something, that was when I started feeling chest pains and I thought it was just losing him but I know it happened, there was something at the back of my mind and it's gone now, there's no connection even though technically, he's still my brother."

"I won't tell her. I'll see you tomorrow night then."

Alec left Torchwood and drove the short distance back to his hotel. The tests had been tiring and he lay thinking about what was ahead, he had a decision to make, well several. To get himself sorted before he took a new job or to carry on, accept a transfer and hope for the best and also whether to give all this up, stop this charade and reinvent himself again, he'd had plenty of experience, he was surely in his eleventh incarnation, that was a form of reinvention. He had been lucky the last time, he had retained everything from his ninth form, maybe this time, he was finally free of that and had moved on. He wondered if this new version of him remembered Rose Tyler.


While Pete and Alec had been at Torchwood, Jackie Tyler was looking through the footage of the night the Cybermen had invaded. Pete had shown it to her, he didn't want any secrets from her and she never kept any from him. It showed the real Doctor and Rose, smiling at each other as they walked around holding trays and there was mischief in both their eyes. At one point, the Doctor was laughing at something and Rose had a sad face but he had immediately apologised. She assumed he had been laughing because the first Jackie had called Rose's name and a little Yorkshire Terrier had come running. She supposed it was slightly funny but he had seen it had upset her, knowing she didn't exist in this world.

Jackie's mobile rang – it was Rose. She couldn't tell her that a certain Timelord was back, well half a one anyway so it was business as usual. Tony was at nursery school so she had plenty of time to talk, about anything other than their unexpected visitor.

"Rose! Everything okay? When are you coming back for a visit? You stay away longer now than when you were travelling."

"I'm fine Mum, really. I don't like ringing dad during the day but I wanted to talk to him. I mean, I love being down here and sketching but I was thinking about maybe opening my own little shop or something, somewhere with a studio to get out more and meet people. There's a little shop empty down by the harbour, it would only be a few minutes walk, it's right next to a café so there would be plenty of people around and it used to be a gallery. Can you ask him to call me when he's got a minute?"

"Yeah, course I will. It sounds like just what you need although wouldn't the town be a better place?"

"Well, it's right by a car park and the old railway station, loads of people walk past, It's just a ground floor shop, I could partition it and set up a display area with a studio in the back. I've had a look around."

"I think he might go for it then but it's June now, you won't get it ready for the tourist season will you?"

"Mum, you know how quickly he can move when he wants to," Rose laughed.

"Well good luck with that. He's actually gone into his office this morning, had to meet Jake over something, nothing to worry about I suppose, the world hasn't been invaded yet."

"Don't joke about that Mum, we came here to get away from all that, remember?"

"I know, sorry. It's just we lived under threat for so long, it's hard to get used to it not being a daily occurrence."

It was all Jackie could do not to tell the whole reason why Pete had gone out that morning, plus he was going to invite this Alec Hardy for dinner tomorrow night. Then hopefully, he would be going back to Scotland, if someone could help him. She felt sorry for the man who once had two hearts and although she had hated him for taking Rose away, she knew how much they had loved each other even if neither of them had admitted it. The sly glances at each other when they thought no-one was looking, a mother didn't miss the look of her daughter being in love.

She had missed him just as much as Rose when they had arrived here but after a while, when Rose moved away, she had tried to forget him because Rose was moving on. Now a version of him had come back and she couldn't even tell her daughter he was here because he didn't know them, only fragments of what he had been told about them but the other one had told him to find her. That proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he had loved her, even if they were separated. She wondered if he had gone and changed his face again. Alec was different though, his appearance and his voice but he was a broken man for two reasons, he had a bad heart and he didn't have Rose by his side.

She knew the reason why Rose had gone back to help him that fateful day – to prove she loved him and he'd tried to prove he loved her by sending her to safety. The two of them were as stubborn as each other.


Rose had discovered the empty shop by accident. She had been meeting Ellie Miller with her young son in the tearooms next to it and Ellie was trying to persuade her to set up on her own. Rose had said that it would be a good idea but she would need Pete's help. Ellie was looking forward to her up-coming holiday in Florida and Rose was envious. She hadn't had a proper holiday in years, it wasn't much fun going on your own and she was past going with her mum and brother although they still came down occasionally. Ellie had been going on about her application for a promotion and Rose had wished her good luck when she came back.

So before her phone call to her mother, she rang the agents who were leasing the shop and asked to look around. They had been quite willing to let the shop go on a short lease to start and for-go the formalities when she told them who she was and that Pete Tyler's legal team would be dealing with all the paperwork. So she had walked home and drawn up some plans and looked up a few local tradesmen who could convert the shop for her and now she was just waiting to get approval from Pete, whenever he decided to ring her. She wondered why he had actually gone in to work, he very rarely went in, it must have been important for him to do so.


The following evening, Alec felt more optimistic as he drove to the Tyler residence and hoped they wouldn't quiz him too much over what he actually remembered of the events when he was supposed to have been with Rose. He still hadn't seen a picture of her but perhaps it was best if he didn't. To be reminded of times when you were meant to have been happy with someone you didn't remember would probably do more harm than good but there again, it may help him to remember.

He had toyed with the idea that this had been done on purpose, his memory taken away but surely his twin wouldn't do that? Was he trying to make it easier for him to get on with his new life but if so, why tell him to find her? Was it so he really could start a new life without all the guilt he knew his twin surely had over her, not being able to tell her he loved her or did he want Rose to fall in love with this version of him?

His twin didn't have the right to make Rose forget him and hope she would settle for a copy, not even a carbon copy but a poor one, one with literally a broken heart and not the man she used to know. Why would she want him as he was now?

Pete welcomed him and made him feel at home. This house was certainly more alive now than the first time he had been in this world, well that went without saying since most of the guests were captured or deleted so Pete had told him.

"So Alec, what are your plans now? How soon do you think you'll get a transfer?"

"It depends who will take me on. My spotless record no longer stands. My past was invented anyway, only Sandbrook really counted and I messed that up, good and proper. Maybe someone will feel sorry for me."

"Alec, I know what happened there wasn't your fault, I do have contacts in the Police. When you turned up, I checked up on you. They hung you out to dry publicly but I know they cleared you. I know you may not want it but you'll end up somewhere where you need to be, somewhere else that needs you but don't take anything too strenuous, you still may have to face an operation and you need to rest. Why don't you just take some medical leave? I'll make sure you don't suffer financially, until you get back to full health."

"You've done enough for me already, more than you will know but I have one favour to ask you. Do you have a photo of Rose?"

Jackie wasn't sure it was a good idea.

"Come with me Alec, I can do better than that. The night the Cybermen invaded, I didn't meet you at the cyber factory, you were here, with Rose. Her real father died when she was a baby and she wanted to see me, to see what I was like if she had grown up with him. I was annoyed when I found out why she came here but I know differently now."

He took Alec to his study and played the video from that night. There, Alec saw his other self and who he knew instantly must be Rose, the way they were looking at each other. They had been in love. How had his twin even imagined either of them could move on? Alec knew Rose would always be haunted by his ghost and he himself would be a substitute. He wished now he had never seen it.

Chapter 6

Pete could see the reaction on Alec's face and turned the video off.

"Sorry Alec, we should have warned you. You two were very close. When she was left here, she was devastated and it took her a long time to get over it, that's why she moved away. You heard Jackie telling you we wouldn't let her go and find you, we didn't want her going through it again. I will help you Alec but you have to trust me. There is no-one else in this universe you can trust more than me but I will always be on Rose's side and I beg you, don't go looking for her. Maybe she'll find her way to you one day but it won't do either of you any good for you to seek her out. If she finds out about you, it won't be from us."

"I understand Pete, I promise I won't go looking for her. I doubt she would want anything to do with me anyway. She'll want the real Doctor, not me."

"Now you listen here Alec," Jackie butted in. "Don't you go putting yourself down, just because you're not him, you're a part of him and don't you go thinking you're not good enough for her. I used to think he wasn't good enough for her but do you know what? It's what Rose wants that counts in the end."

"Jackie's right but just springing yourself on her suddenly won't do her any good. Let her find you. Why don't you consider a transfer somewhere on the south coast? Rose is down there, I'll not tell you where but consider it carefully. You need to take it easy Alec, going back to a big town or city will do you no good. A quiet town is just what you need and when Owen comes up with an answer, you'll be close by. Look, I can get you transferred down here, even get you on medical leave down here, whatever you want. Go back part-time, a few hours a day and when you get enough strength to go through an operation, you'll stand more of a chance if we can't find anything at Torchwood to help you."

Alec thought about it. It did make sense, move closer to London, he wouldn't survive without the surgery or alien intervention and he knew it. Taking medical leave may help or just a few hours a day to keep him busy. He had come down here to get help from Pete and he was offering it, the least he could do was take it.

"Okay Pete, I'll think about it. I go back to Sandbrook tomorrow and I'll give notice on my apartment. You see where will take me down here and let me know. It will take about a month to move out, put my things in storage but I could do it faster if needed. I promised Dr Harper if I got any worse I would contact him."

"Good. It would be better using the technology we have rather than an operation, let's leave that as a last resort. The longer you rest, the better your chances if we have to resort to that but I promise you Alec, Torchwood will take care of you one way or another. This world would be in a bad state if you hadn't come along you know, we're grateful for that."

"Thanks Pete, I just wish I could remember the other half of it instead of what I actually do remember."

Alec said goodbye, Pete promised he would keep in touch with him the moment they found anything to help him. He believed they would too. A part of the weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It hadn't been in his nature to ask for help, he had always been the one to offer help but that was a long time ago now. Now he had to rely on someone and he had to stop being broody and let up on his self-pity. He was going to get better, otherwise, why would he have been left here? Maybe his twin knew there was something wrong with him after all.

When Alec had left, Pete turned to Jackie.

"Are you thinking the same as me?" Jackie asked.

"Maybe. He needs her Jaks, just like the other one did, we both know that. I can't tell him where she is, I can't tell Rose he's here either but I can point them both in the right direction and if they are indeed two magnets that are drawn to each other, they'll figure it out. I'll get onto the chief constable tomorrow, see if they have an opening in Broadchurch or close by. Well, I'd better call Rose if she wants to open that studio of hers in time for the summer season, I think this calls for us to go and visit her."

Jackie didn't need telling twice to go see her daughter, she was already planning the visit.


The Tylers arrival in Broadchurch was a quiet affair. They booked into the Trader's Hotel, not far from where Rose lived and went to see the studio/shop she was so interested in. Pete's legal team soon cut through the paperwork and two weeks later, shopfitters had been employed to divide the shop into a small viewing area and plenty of workspace in the back for her supplies and a new printer. It meant she could buy her supplies in bulk and increase her selling status on the auction site. It also meant she may have to employ someone part time for her trips to take photos and when she had to mail out her finished products but it meant she could provide a mailing service for shop customers who wanted to send the drawings to their friends.

Soon, just four weeks after Pete's visit, Rose was ready to open. She had got her friend's daughter, Chloe to work Saturdays until school broke up and then work a few hours during the day and set up an account with the Post Office to have mail collected. The auction site sales increased and she was busy catching up with them.

Her friend Ellie, she came back from her holiday and came in to see the shop to congratulate her a few days before it opened.

"Well done you, you've done great. It looks really good. I have to go back to work tomorrow, I only popped down to see you because, well, I'm hoping to get that promotion tomorrow and the weekend will be mad."

"Thanks Ellie, hope you get it, you deserve it. It's the proper opening on Saturday, I've been up into town and put a few notices out plus an ad in The Echo, Maggie gave me a good rate. So how was your holiday?"

"Great, oh, I brought you a present."

Ellie went in her shoulder bag and produced a bottle of wine.

"Thanks, you'll both have to come over one night, since you keep inviting me."

Ellie left and Rose went about organising her display. Her printer had never stopped since she moved it down to the shop and she was busy framing them and wrapping them carefully into the cellophane and tissue wrappers. She was just glad she didn't use any glass, there was less packaging involved, just large envelopes and plenty of 'Do Not Bend' stickers.


While Rose had been getting her gallery ready, a week earlier, Alec had been packing and arranging a van to take his belongings into storage. The day came for him to move out, he was going to spend the night in a hotel and hand his keys in the next day, then get a train from Glasgow to Exeter, then change for Dorchester and get off at a place he had never really heard of called Broadchurch. It was right on the coast and he thought it a strange name for a coastal town.

Pete had rung him just after he got back from London. It seemed he was friends with the chief constable for Wessex and there were a few vacancies down there, two though were a reduction in rank, not that he had ever been anything other than a detective inspector but the other one, well he would be stepping on someone's toes to take it. A local DS had applied for the same job, a woman and it would have put him off if he didn't really need the job himself.

It had been arranged that the chief superintendent would take him on a part-time basis but not told why. All she had been told was of his failed case and his need to move as far away from the scene as possible. He wasn't to have any set hours and he could come and go as he pleased, which just suited him if he was feeling a bit off in the mornings or he could disappear for a few hours if need be. Pete had assured him that if his condition got worse, he would go straight onto medical leave with full pay, pending his recovery. So Alec had agreed and now he was on his way, being put up at a hotel until he either got a place of his own or he went to Torchwood for surgery or a miraculous recovery.

His first week was quiet, just as he wanted it. A few petty crimes here and there, he disappeared when he wanted to be alone, no-one questioned him but he heard people in the office talking, saying the woman DS would not be happy when she came back from holiday. That was the least of his problems. He had walked around the harbour area, found a café just at the harbour's edge that served a decent lunch and had noticed a new shop opening behind the old railway station but didn't take much notice of the sign in the window stating a new gallery was opening.

He had gone back to being gruff, it had worked in Sandbrook, he wasn't there to make any friends. He'd noticed the hotel owner giving him the eye once or twice but that was all. He wasn't going to do anything about it. He had been there just over a week and got a call on the Thursday morning to go down to the beach – a body had been found and it was far too early for him to be getting called out, the junior officers should have attended but since it involved a child, he'd got dressed and a car had been waiting for him. The beach had been closed off and he made his way over the sands, asking why this had to happen to him. So much for having a quiet life in a quiet town where he was supposed to working up to possibly facing surgery.


Rose was walking towards the harbour that same morning, seeing police lights in the distance and wondering what was going on. She saw the local newsagent, Jack and asked what was going on. Something about a body being found on the beach. Rose had long since stopped being nosey but since the road was being blocked off at the mini-roundabout, she thought more people would be trying to get into the town to see what was going on but decided she wasn't going to take advantage of it.

Making herself some coffee after buying some milk and biscuits at the harbour stores next to the newsagents, loads of people were walking past, some stopped and looked in the window, a few came in and bought the framed prints and she was fulfilling her internet orders. She wasn't really bothered about making a profit, it was more of a hobby anyway but she was enjoying it. She got to talk to people, some of who had travelled hundreds of miles and answered email enquiries from the auction site about if she posted abroad and how long it would take.

It was when she got home and switched the evening news on that Rose got the shock of her life. No-one had told her, not even her two best friends - Danny Latimer was the boy found on the beach and if that wasn't bad enough, there, on screen, with a scruffy beard and a Scottish accent was the Doctor but with the name Detective Inspector Alec Hardy.

She searched online for Alec Hardy and found he had been the lead detective in a similar case in a place called Sandbrook, wherever that was and had disappeared for a while after the case fell apart. So they had sent him here to sweep him under the carpet but it seemed it had backfired on them, he was back in the limelight again. The more she looked, the more she was convinced it was him but it was impossible. If he had come here, he would not have been hiding all this time and Pete would know about it or did he already? Time to find out but she wasn't going to come right out and ask him. Maybe he and her mother were just trying to protect her, just like not letting her go after Mickey.

She dialled Pete's number and thought about tactfully asking him if he knew the Doctor was here but it didn't come out like that when he answered the phone. Instead, she told him what had happened to her friend's boy and cried down the phone until Jackie grabbed the handset from Pete and calmed her down. Jackie so wanted to tell her to go find Alec but knew she couldn't.

Rose knew it would be chaos in the town's police station. She had called the Latimer house and spoken to Chloe, telling her not to worry about coming to work on Saturday and that she would call round and see them soon but wanted to respect their grieving. She had tried calling Ellie but her phone was constantly engaged. Maybe she should just leave this until Monday.

She walked around the back of the police station and up to the front desk.

"Yes Miss, can I help you?" the man behind it asked, a phone in each hand.

Rose looked around. Phones were ringing off their hooks, uniformed officers were darting everywhere with pieces of paper in their hands.

"No, it's okay, I can see you're busy. Can I leave a message? For Detective Inspector Alec Hardy?"

"Yes but I don't know when he'll get it, we are in the middle of a murder investigation."

"I know. Can you give him this?"

She took a business card from her purse and scribbled on the back 'Run', the first word the Doctor had said to her and her personal mobile number. If it was him, he would know what it meant and if not, he'd be curious enough to ring her back and tell her she was crazy. Maybe she was. She handed it to the desk sergeant. The front read 'The Rose Gallery' with her name and a picture of a rose.

Chapter 7

Just as Rose stepped out of the Police station, Alec Hardy came downstairs, followed by an aggravated Ellie Miller. It had been bad enough this scruffy Scottish detective had got her job but he was being obnoxious as well.

"Sir," the desk sergeant shouted after him, gathering a pile of messages addressed to him and then remembering the card the young woman had just left. "Messages for you and a business card, some woman just left it."

"What? What woman? Was she blonde?"

"I don't remember Sir, she just left."

Alec turned to Miller, handing her the pile of messages and taking the card. "You go ahead, I'll catch up with you."

Ellie smiled. Who would have thought Hardy would be chasing after a woman? A blonde one at that. Wait a minute – Rose was blonde. Surely it couldn't have been her? She checked her phone and found several missed calls from her friend. She didn't have time to return the calls, since her boss had gone AWOL again. She had only met him yesterday and he'd already gone missing twice but it seemed he kept his own hours and nothing could be done about it when she had complained to the chief about him. Apparently there were orders from the chief constable himself that Hardy was to be left to his own devices. What was so special about him?

Alec walked as fast as he dare but there were a lot of people in front of him. He looked at the card, turned it over and saw one word – Run! Was that supposed to mean anything? Had that been the first word his twin had said to her? There was a shop address which he realised was the shop he had seen a few days ago and taken no notice of. He was going to get his phone out of his pocket, he should call her, not go barging into the shop. Maybe that would be the wrong thing to do. He got as far as the mini roundabout, just around the corner from the harbour, he could see the shop in question. He changed his mind and walked back, sitting down on one of the benches in the square by the bus shelter and trying to get up the courage to call her.

He told himself he was acting just like his twin. He had no recollection of the woman, how could he tell her that? Should he just deny everything? No, he couldn't, not if he wanted Pete Tyler's help. His twin obviously had never told her how he had felt, he got that impression from him. What if she asked about him?

He chickened out and sent a text. The text read, 'Can I come and see you? Alec Hardy.' No sense in signing it 'The Doctor'.

He got a reply – 'Yes, come to the shop.'

He stood in the doorway, there were people in the shop and a woman stood at a glass and chrome counter in the corner. She looked up and he saw the most beautiful woman he had seen in his new life. No wonder his twin had been so taken with her, she looked even better than the footage he had been shown by Pete.

People came out of the shop and he stood to one side to let them pass but a man held the door open for him and he thanked him. No excuse now, he was in. The woman looked up.

"Detective Inspector Hardy, I presume?"

"Yes and you must be Rose Tyler. I got your card. An apt name for your gallery. Newly opened gallery at that. I saw you preparing it last week. You wanted to talk to me?"

There was no point in admitting just yet who he was. Pete had warned him not to upset her but why did he get offered a job in the very town Pete Tyler's stepdaughter was living in? Oh, he had been given the choice of three so Pete was not directly responsible.

"Yeah, thought you might have understood the message on the back of the card but I obviously got it wrong. Sorry I wasted your time detective."

Rose was trying to hide the fact she was bitterly disappointed but what did she expect? It had been her own fault for getting her hopes up last night, seeing him on TV. She had brought her laptop in and had it on the news, in case he had appeared again or there was any news about Danny's killer. She was still upset about it. She should be with her friend, not stuck in her shop on a Saturday and wasting this man's, who clearly now was not the Doctor's time.

"I'm sorry, I had no idea what the message means but maybe you can tell me?"

Rose shook her head.

"Can I get you some tea or coffee detective? Please, take a seat."

"Tea, thanks and call me Alec."

Rose went into the back and switched the kettle on. She had made a complete fool of herself and now he wanted to know what the message meant. Was he for real? It was the sort of thing the Doctor would have done.

While Alec was waiting, he looked at some of the framed sketches, mostly the cliffs and the coastline. It looked like she had been out on a boat and taken photos and sketched from them, she was very good. To think his twin had travelled with her, she should have been drawing the planets she had visited.

"Here you are, Alec," Rose said as she handed him a mug of tea. "I don't think you need to know what the message meant. I mistook you for someone when I saw you on TV last night. I knew Danny, he was my friend's son."

"Really? Then I'm afraid I'll have to ask you a few questions if that's okay? Not now. Can you come down the station on Monday? You don't need to make an appointment, we just need to eliminate who knew him from the investigation, it's just procedure."

"Of course, I'd be only too happy. I hope you catch the sick person who did that to him, I used to see him on his way to school as well as when I went to visit although mostly he was out with his friends or messing about in the field behind his house."

"Who did you mistake me for Miss Tyler?"

"Call me Rose. Just someone I used to know, a long time ago now, a million miles away, well he may as well be."

She looked sad. How long could he keep up the pretence? Was it worse not to tell her or let her make her own mind up? If he told her from the start he was not his twin, maybe she would just accept that.


Rose had walked away from the police station knowing she shouldn't have done that, just left a message. She should have waited and faced him there, not expecting him to come running after her. She could be wrong, Alec Hardy could be just who he appeared to be, a police detective from Scotland, apparently. She was about to call Pete again before she opened but people were waiting in the doorway, she was already late, pacing up and down debating whether to go inside the police station or not.

Her customers were leaving but in the doorway stood the man himself, looking like he was debating whether he should go in or not but it seemed he had his mind made up for him as the man going out held the door for him and he came in. She shouldn't waste his time, he was investigating Danny's death and had better things to do than listen to her rambling on about him looking like someone she used to know, someone who looked just like him – minus the beard and the accent. There were other men who looked like him, her favourite actor who had also existed in her own world so why would Alec Hardy be him?

She came back to the present, he was asking her a question.

"So, can't you tell me who I remind you of? I sent my DS on her own to interview someone to come and see you so you may as well tell me."

"You mean Ellie Miller? She's my friend but I've been trying to call her since earlier this morning. I take it she didn't get her promotion then? She must be really pissed off with you."

Alec smiled. He believed she was right and he wouldn't have normally pulled the rug from under someone's feet to get a job but desperate times and all that.

"She'll get over it. I didn't ask for a transfer, I had to move and this was the only place with a DI's position open. You're avoiding the question."

"Yeah? Maybe because I don't want to tell you. I'm really sorry to have wasted your time."

He had to do something, make some sort of move even if it was just to get her reaction.

"Rose, I know who you think I am."

Rose laughed.

"You think that I mistook you for that actor, don't you?"

"What actor? No, you think I'm someone you used to travel with."

Rose nearly dropped her cup. Just then, the doorbell went and a couple came in. Alec got up and moved out of the way, he thought maybe he should leave, he'd already said too much. Pete had warned him and he didn't want to lose his only hope of survival in this world, without Pete he was finished, no second chances or regenerations – that was it. He only got one. He put his hand on the door handle but Rose crossed over to him before he could leave.

"Please, come round and see me later?"

"I don't think that's a good idea. Come into the station on Monday to give a statement."

He saw the disappointment in her hazel eyes. He was just as bad as his twin.

He went out into the doorway between the gallery and the café. Rose stopped him again.

"I live behind the police station, those new apartments, number 6, the end one. I'll be home after five."

With that, she went back inside.

Alec didn't know how to respond. Should he go? He was right in the middle of another murder investigation, Rose had known the boy who had died and she knew Miller, that would go down well. He would have to think about this carefully. What she didn't know wouldn't hurt but Pete might say something to her if she asked him. There was no easy way out.

Rose got back inside the shop, served her customers and went about printing off her orders, the one advantage of doing it herself, she had no real stock to carry, just her supplies and it passed the time. At this rate, she would have to get someone in part-time since she knew Chloe would be too upset to even think about working for her.

Her phone rang, it was Ellie Miller.

"Rose, have you been trying to call? I'm really sorry, I got caught up in everything I didn't even have time to tell you it was Danny. You must have got a shock seeing it on the news last night."

Rose was about to say nearly as big a shock as seeing the man she had left behind.

"Yeah, I called Beth, spoke to Chloe, she was supposed to start work with me today, I'll have to look for someone else for now. How's the investigation?"

"Rose, you know I can't talk about it. Did you come into the station earlier and leave a card for Hardy?" Rose didn't answer. Ellie took that as a yes. "Why did you want to see him of all people? You should have come to me."

"I tried but got no answer and I didn't want to bother you last night."

"What did you possibly want to see Hardy for? Do you know him or something? Oh please, don't tell me he's an old flame or something or I really will be sick," Ellie laughed.

"No, I just thought he was someone I used to know but he isn't. It's nothing. I did mention to him that I knew Danny, I have to come and give a statement on Monday, just routine he said."

"Yes, it's just procedure now you've mentioned it although I personally wouldn't have dragged you in seeing who you are, he obviously doesn't know you have an important stepfather."

"It doesn't matter as long as it helps catch the person responsible."

"Don't get involved with him Rose, he's a pain and I've only known him for two days although you have a habit of not doing as I advise. Mind you, you took my advice about the shop."

Rose laughed.

"Have to go, customers. I'll catch up later."

Ellie went off to catch up with Hardy, who had decided to abandon his quick chat with the chief and drag himself over to the newsagents. Couldn't he smarten himself up a bit? Would it kill him to have a shave and look a bit more lively? He looked like death warmed up.

Alec couldn't get his mind off Rose as much as he tried. Now he knew why his twin had been so attached to her. How could his brother have let her go so easily without a fight and without expressing his feelings? Over 900 years old and he couldn't tell a woman he loved her.

It was after seven in the evening when Rose's doorbell rang. She answered the intercom asking who it was. Who else was she expecting? After letting him in and offering him another drink, she could tell he had been reluctant to come and see her.

"Do you want to explain it further, what you said earlier?" Rose asked him. "How do you know that I used to travel with someone? Who are you?"

He had really put his foot in it now. How could he put this to her?

"You think you know who I am. I'd better explain. I was the Doctor."

Rose clasped her hands to her mouth.

"What do you mean?" Then she realised what he was saying. "You mean you've made yourself human or something? That you're no longer a Timelord?"

"Something like that. I'm part Human – part Timelord. Remember the hand I lost in a sword fight on that Christmas Day?" He figured she must have been there, he just had to tell her he didn't remember her being there.

Rose nodded. How could she ever forget? That was the day after he had changed into the most gorgeous man she had ever seen in her life.

"Well I grew out of that hand, I was literally brought to life through regeneration energy and a human woman called Donna. The other Doctor, he got shot by a Dalek, healed himself and poured the rest of the energy into the hand, I grew out of that. Remember the stars going out? Mickey was sent to see what was going on? It was the Daleks, they were trying to wipe out the universe - again. Don't they ever learn?"

Alec smiled as he let it sink in.

He had managed so far to keep the fact of his selective amnesia out of the loop but she would soon figure it out, if she was as clever as he thought she was.

"So, you're a clone or something, yeah? But that all happened four years ago. Why did you leave it all that time to find me?"

"Because I don't remember you or any of what my twin and you did together."

Chapter 8

Rose was stunned – well not that there was a word strong enough for what she was feeling. She felt sick, confused, that the man in front of her who said he was the Doctor's clone didn't remember her at all. Everything they had done together, all the places they had been, he knew nothing of. He could see her confusion and bitterly regretted having to tell her.

"Rose, I'm really sorry. All I can think of was that when I was created I got all his memories, all his knowledge but somehow, you got left out. Well you, your mother and Mickey, who was okay the last time I saw him which you rightly say is almost four years ago. I contacted your what I now know is your stepfather, I went to see him and explained who I was. He asked me not to come and find you and since technically you found me, well he didn't tell me where you lived and it was just coincidence I came here. There were two other places I could have gone to."

"So Pete knows and you met Mickey and my mum? I'm surprised my mother didn't slap you."

"I got the impression she wanted to. I stayed away because Pete advised me to and because I didn't want to disappoint you when you found out I wasn't him. I'm sorry, this was a bad idea, I should leave now. I'm not him and I know it was him you wanted to return to you. I don't remember anything you and he did together, all I remember are the parts I was on my own or with someone else. I had two companions after the battle of the Daleks and the Cybermen at Canary Wharf, I can remember everything about where we went and what we did but for some strange reason, the memories of you are gone."

"Do you think they've been suppressed for some reason? The shock of you being brought into existence?"

"I don't know but there's one other thing. I only have one heart."

He wasn't going to drop the bombshell that it wasn't working properly and he knew Pete Tyler wouldn't want to tell her.

Rose didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

"I'm sorry Alec, if that's the name you're going by now. How did you invent yourself as a detective?"

"Nothing a sonic screwdriver and some psychic paper can't fix."

Rose knew to smile then.

"You hacked into some computers and planted a whole life history? You're as bad as he was. I don't know how many times that psychic paper got him out of trouble."

Alec smiled back.

"I know this is painful for you, to find out I'm not him. I should leave now. I just wanted you to know and I apologise for taking nearly four years to do it. He loved you Rose, I know he did. He didn't have to tell me how he felt about you. I know he wouldn't have left you here if it had not been a life or death situation. He left me here and told me to find you but I never thought any more about it. I thought you deserved better than his clone telling you that he wasn't him."

Rose's smile had faded. How dare he make that choice for her? That was so typical of him. Now she was angry.

"Yeah, perhaps it would be better if you left. I need time to think about this. So Pete knows about you but why didn't he tell me?"

"He was trying to protect you. I don't know what happened but you must have not got the chance to say goodbye properly to my twin and he didn't want you to get upset."

"I did say goodbye to him, it was the worst day of my life."

Now Alec understood. She had been in love with him.

"You don't have to see me again if you don't want to. You have my number. I won't keep pestering you. You can give your statement to anyone on Monday, I'll just go now."

He got up and walked to the door. He knew it was for the best.

Rose didn't try to stop him. He obviously didn't want to know her, memory loss or not. Perhaps he was doing the right thing. He wasn't her Doctor and never could be. All the cheekiness had gone, all that fun-loving expression he used to have on his face when they were getting into trouble, which was practically all the time. What had she expected? For him to come back for her after four years and carry on where they had left off? No, she didn't want to even go there. She should just forget about him.

Alec left Rose's apartment and walked back to the station. He should get some more work done. So much for working part time. He had done the damage, all he could do was give her some space and see if she would accept him but it must be ten times worse for her, she remembered everything, he had only just met her. Perhaps he had best tell Pete that he may have done some damage, it was better admitting it than him finding out from Rose.

"It's not your fault Alec, she sought you out. You didn't know she was going to see you on TV and you didn't know you were going to have a murder on your hands. Do you want me to get you out of there?" Pete asked after Alec decided the day after seeing Rose to come clean about it.

"No, I'll manage for now. I can't let another murderer get away, not again. If it gets too bad, I'll let you know. I have someone working with me, she'll take some of the load, I'll try to keep back on it. Thanks for the offer and for being understanding, I thought you would be angry for me upsetting Rose."

"I'm not angry Alec but best stay out of Jackie's way for a while. I'll talk to Rose if she wants, she'll be okay, just give her time to get used to the fact you're not him."

"But what do I do Pete? If she contacts me again? I can't do this, I can't give her false hope that I'll get my memory of her back, she thinks it's temporary or I've suppressed all remembrance of her but I haven't, well not as far as I know. I'm fairly certain those memories were removed for a reason, so I wouldn't have to feel the guilt of losing her because I know he regretted letting her go."

"You don't have to tell me that Alec, I've lived with her for seven years. I went back to get her that day, after he sent her and her mother here. She had let go of a lever she was holding that was keeping the void open and I saw his face, he was terrified she was going into the void along with the Daleks and Cybermen."

"I remember being there Pete but I was on my own. How could I have not known there was someone with me? Why don't I have those memories?"

"Don't chew yourself up over it. It's not your fault and maybe you're right, the memories were taken from you for a reason, to find Rose again and create new ones without all the guilt."

He said goodbye to Pete and tried to put Rose out of his mind but it wasn't going to be easy. He had to bury himself in the murder investigation and hope he wouldn't have to give in and go on medical leave. Owen had not contacted him with any news on finding anything to cure him yet so as soon as he solved this case, which he hoped would be sooner rather than later and not take as long as the last one, he may just have to give in and have the surgery.


After Alec had left, Rose didn't know what to think any more. She was going to call her mother but what could she say? That she had just rejected the twin of the man she used to love? At least he had admitted he didn't know her but it still hurt all the same. She needed time to think about this and hoped she wouldn't have to be interviewed by him on Monday. She didn't. When she walked into the station the following Monday morning, another DS took her statement and she was free to go, she didn't even see Ellie and Ellie had not contacted her. She didn't hear from her until a week later when she got a call from her.

"Rose, can you bail me out?" came Ellie's frantic voice. "I did something really stupid. I invited my boss to dinner and I'm going to be outnumbered. Can you come round tomorrow night?"

Rose knew who her boss was and she really didn't want to see him but she was her friend.

"Okay, seeing it's you but you told me to stay away from him, remember?"

Ellie pretended to take the huff. She had been reluctant to ask Hardy around for dinner but her husband had insisted and against her better judgement and Hardy's inability to accept without an argument, it had been agreed, then she had thought her friend could bail her out in spite of being told to keep away from him. She had only said that so as not to be embarrassed that her boss was dating one of her best friends. How would that look?

Alec had not been too thrilled to be invited to his DS's home for dinner but to save any further arguments he had accepted. Now he was on his way with wine, flowers and chocolates because he had no idea what to take. What they were going to talk about, he didn't have a clue and hoped Miller's husband would want to talk about football or something he didn't know about but would try and keep up with. He got a shock when Miller opened the door and he saw Rose in the kitchen laughing with who must be Miller's husband about him wearing the apron. Rose had looked up.

Rose was a bit annoyed that she had been asked to bail her friend out but couldn't admit the reason for it to her, it was the last thing she wanted – to admit to Ellie that she had known Alec in what was another life. She could never tell her friend where she came from. Alec looked equally annoyed for not being warned Rose was even going to be there.

"Look, Alec brought gifts," Ellie chirped up, taking the wine and the flowers from him then realising maybe they weren't all for her and Alec, noticing this, offered the box of chocolates to Rose, who looked a bit stunned. Probably his twin had never given her a box of chocolates before. Ellie thought Hardy had been forewarned Rose was going to be there, had those two been secretly meeting? There was a tension between the two of them you could cut with a knife. Was it sexual tension? It was difficult to tell.

Rose mainly talked with Ellie over dinner, she had been seated next to Alec and suspected her friend had done it on purpose, to see if the two of them actually knew each other. It hadn't worked as Rose only said a few words to him when he and Joe Miller had joined the conversation. Ellie was eyeing them, if there was something going on, they were doing a good job of covering it up. So Ellie was going to try a different tactic.

"Rose, why don't you take Alec into the front room while I make some coffee? Anyone want cheesecake?"

Rose put her hand up and Alec just said he wanted tea. What he actually wanted was to get out of there as fast as he could but didn't want to appear any ruder than Miller already thought he was. She had been getting more annoyed with him every day and it wasn't helping. He was disappearing more and more during office hours, relying on his pills which were still being sent to him. He just hoped Torchwood would come up with an answer soon, this investigation was taking it out on him.

Once in Ellie's front room, Rose knew her friend had done this on purpose and she was taking the bait.

"So Alec, how have you been?"

Alec gave her a weak smile. She had no idea, not that it really concerned her.

"I'll be glad when I can close this case, it's getting annoying. You? I hope I didn't upset you when I came to see you, that wasn't my intention. I just thought you deserved to know. Do you want to talk about it?"

"About what?"

"About when you had to say goodbye, what happened?"

"No Alec, I don't want to talk about it. I'm sorry, this was Ellie's idea, not mine. She didn't want to be the odd one out tonight and I think she was trying to play cupid."

That was what he had thought as well when he had walked in and the Millers were now taking their time joining them. He could just imagine his DS talking about them in the kitchen. Did she think there was something already going on between him and Rose? He would be having words with her tomorrow.

When Ellie and Joe came back in to join them, Rose and Alec were sat at the opposite ends of the sofa. Ellie thought so much for that then, they were either being coy or they had sprung apart on hearing the door opening. She liked to think it was the second one, he could do with loosening up a bit. Her initial repulsion of the two of them being together would have to be set to one side if she wanted to save her sanity over this case, he was driving her nuts.

Rose offered to drop Alec off at his hotel in the taxi she had booked, she had left her car so she could have a drink, Joe Miller was famous for refilling her glass and had done the same with Alec tonight, even when he had tried to cover his glass. So dropping him off outside The Trader's Hotel, Rose said goodnight to him and he tried to push some money into her hands but she refused it. If she had known what was going to happen when he got up to his room, she would have gone with him.

When Alec had opened the side door to go upstairs, he knew he had drunk too much wine, he was feeling dizzy as he walked up to his room and tried to reach his pills but he felt himself falling and everything went black. The next thing he knew, someone was sitting at the side of him, a tube was stuck up his nose and Becca Fisher was looking through his wallet.

"Hi sunshine, feeling better? I didn't know if you had any family so I just told them I was your wife."

"What? What happened?"

He was scared someone would come back with a chart and find out he wasn't entirely human. Hopefully they would have been too busy trying to revive him to worry about the rest of him.

"You passed out on your bathroom floor, the woman below your room complained about the bang, luckily. You need an operation, you nearly died."

He didn't need the hotel owner to tell him that.

"Thanks, for finding me, now I have to get out of here, can you give me a ride back to the hotel?"

He could see it was already light outside.

"They won't let you go. Why don't you get some proper help?"

"You can't tell anyone about this Becca, this is my career. I need to finish this case then I promise, I'll get help."

Becca seemed to be thinking about it.

"Okay. I'll wait outside for you but I only have a small car, you may be a bit cramped."

"I'll manage."

He was already taking wires out of his chest.

He signed the self-release form, discharging himself and knew he'd have to get Owen to smooth things over with the hospital and explain any anomalies. Owen had promised to help wherever he could if an emergency came up but now he would insist on him giving in and going back to London. Well not just yet. On the way back to the hotel, Alec checked everything was still in his wallet. He didn't want to lose Rose's business card in case she changed her mind.

"Everything's there in case you're worried. I did see a card, for the Rose Gallery, I've been in there, I was thinking of commissioning her to do a set of paintings for the hotel but I can't afford it now with business going down. Is she a friend of yours?"

"No, not exactly, we've only met a few times."

He didn't need to explain his relationship with Rose to the hotel owner.

He quickly got changed and went back down to the police station, taking the short cut down the cliff path and arrived just after nine. Unfortunately, Miller noticed the state he was in, the hospital had stitched a cut he had received when he fell, he must have knocked himself out of the corner of the sink.

"Crikey, what happened to you?"

"Nothing, I slipped in the bathroom, now get back to work."

"Oh, so you and Rose didn't get together last night then? No wonder you're so grumpy."

"Non of your business Miller."

Ellie knew she had hit a raw nerve. Maybe they were just dancing around each other.

Chapter 9

Alec slammed his office door behind Ellie. He was getting worse and he knew it. He had called Owen, who had assured him he would take care of his hospital visit and urged him to reconsider taking medical leave, he may not be so lucky the next time. He was going to make sure there wasn't a next time. He needed to confide in someone, someone closer. Should he risk trusting Rose? She had obviously been shocked at his disclosure, he had seen the disappointment in her eyes but was it fair to burden her with his problem?

Over the next few weeks, it was quiet, nothing much happening apart from the locals hounding an innocent man to death. He had seen Rose at the funeral, he had sat just behind her that he could have touched her but she was sitting with Becca Fisher and he had avoided her at the hotel bar afterwards. She had left after about twenty minutes. He should have gone after her but what for? To beg her to listen to his problem? To make her feel sorry for him? No, he had chosen this life, it was his and his alone's problem. Pete Tyler wouldn't thank him for upsetting his stepdaughter.

Instead, his own GP came to visit him, a friendly face. He asked Alec if he had someone who he could confide in and said he had, another medical expert in London and who was going to help him when the case was solved. Alec was warned not to leave it too long. What was it with the medical profession?

Resources at the station were cut back, he was running out of time with the budget and his health. He didn't see anything of Rose, he avoided going anywhere near her shop, he shouted at Ellie when she asked if he had seen her so she had given up. She had talked to Rose, who had laughed it off but she could tell her friend fancied him and was playing it down. Ellie had attempted to get them together, showing up at the café next door with him and hoping Rose saw him but she never came out.

Rose had employed a part-timer called Sarah, who she showed how to take the orders and print off copies of the drawings when needed and left her a few afternoons to go take more photos. Once or twice, she had ventured past the police station but had never seen him. She had been tempted to call him when he was declared the worst cop in Britain but she may have just made it worse.

Rose had talked to her mother and Pete, neither of them mentioned Alec to her nor she about him to them, what was the point? She knew she had to deal with this herself, her mother would just come down and fuss over her and she didn't need that. Nearly two months passed by, the case was going nowhere apart from the missing skateboard turning up and the arrest of a woman from the caravan site. By this time, Owen had been on the phone to Alec nearly every day, piece after piece of alien technology had been explored and still nothing except a few items that were marked as possibilities because they didn't know exactly what they did and Alec promised as soon as he had solved the case, he would go up to London and see if he could figure them out.

If he had thought about it, he could have used his Timelord brain to go through the pile of alien artefact in five minutes flat if he had been there and he could have solved this murder in an equal amount of time if he had been well but he wasn't. He wasn't thinking straight half of the time, he was dragging his heels like he was punishing himself. He had laughed at the local psychic, twice, almost set himself up for another blackout when he had got annoyed with the man for pestering the dead boy's mother and had been avoiding a certain reporter like the plague.

If his twin had Rose to get him though all the bad times, why didn't he just give in and admit he needed her too? She was just a phone call away. Miller never gave up fighting with him over her, casually mentioning her name over this and that, hoping he would take the hint but he never did. He had accepted this life and that was the way it had to be.

Things were about to get a whole lot worse for him though and he was going to have to finally give in or risk never telling her she was getting to him. He was working late one night with Miller when she got a phone call.

"Sir, someone just saw lights up at the hut where the murder occurred, if we go now we might still catch whoever it is."

Alec didn't waste any time. He grabbed his coat.

"Come on Miller, don't just stand there."

Ellie alerted the control room, telling them to send for backup but to approach the hut silently and let her and Hardy go in first and for a unit to wait down by the boatyard in case whoever it was tried to make their escape in that direction. She wasn't quite prepared for what was about to take place.

After they arrived, she took the front of the hut, Hardy took the back but was surprised when the door opened and hit her. She quickly recovered, shouting for Hardy and they both ran down the path after the intruder. Ellie looked ahead, no sign of any backup yet, Hardy was right, they could be a bit slack around here, no wonder he got so annoyed with them. She was approaching a wire fence and gate, the suspect leaped up and over the fence but as she approached, she heard a loud thud behind her and turned around to see Hardy lying on the ground, clutching his chest.

She called out to him, then to the intruder.

"You can't get away, we have the yard surrounded. Come out." Of course no-one replied. Just then, three Police cars were pulling up and Hardy was barely conscious. "Sir, what happened?"

He never answered but the look on his face told her what she needed to know – that he was dying.

"You, get after the intruder and get an ambulance – quickly." Then she turned back to Hardy. "Don't you dare make me give you the kiss of life, I'll never forgive you."

Two minutes later, ambulance responders arrived and put a breathing mask on him and began resuscitation and took him into the back of the vehicle. Ellie got in with him, throwing her car keys to an officer and telling them to take her car to the station.

He was out for hours it seemed. Ellie was pacing the corridor, it was after midnight and she couldn't decide whether to call Rose or not but in the back of the ambulance, he had drifted in and out and each time he had said just one word – Rose. What was she to him? An unrequited lover? An ex girlfriend or the ex girlfriend of a close friend? Did he even have any friends? Probably not, he was unbearable at times.

Nurses went in and out of his room, a doctor came to tell her they had revived him but he badly needed an operation but they had orders to contact some other doctor in London before they could do anything. Ellie thought that was just typical. She made the decision – to call Rose because whoever she was to him, she deserved to know he may die and how could she face her friend if he did and she hadn't told her?

"Rose," Ellie said as her friend sleepily answered.

"Ellie? It's nearly 1am, what's wrong?"

"It's Alec Hardy, he collapsed, he's in hospital. I don't know who he is to you but if you really do know him, I suggest you get to the emergency department at Broadchurch hospital as soon as you can get here, I think he's dying. Something about his heart."

Rose almost dropped the phone. How could this possibly be? She had been so stupid and pig-headed, avoiding him for two months, mainly to get back at him for leaving her here for seven years on her own but he was dying and he wasn't the Doctor, he was part human and only had one heart.

"I'm on my way, will you still be there?"

"Yes but who is he to you Rose, you've been dancing around each other for two months."

"I'll tell you when I get there, I have to get dressed."

Ten minutes later, Rose was pulling up outside the emergency entrance and asking for Alec Hardy but she saw Ellie down the corridor and Ellie went back up and showed her badge to get Rose in.

"How is he Ellie? Is he going to be okay?"

"They've stabilized him for now but he needs an operation and he won't have it, apparently, says he has his own specialist in London who will take care of him but why hasn't he done something about it before if he knew he was this bad? He almost died Rose and he still could."

Before Rose had chance to say anything, a nurse came out of the room they were treating Alec in.

"Are either of you two called Rose?" Rose nodded. "He's asking for you but you can't stay long, just a few minutes. Are you a relative, his wife perhaps?"

"No, I just know him, that's all. Can I go in now?"

The nurse held the door open and she walked in to see him bare chested and various wires attached to him. He opened his eyes and saw her.

"Rose. You have to call Pete now and get him to call Owen Harper, he'll know what it's about. Tell him I said now and tell Miller, I know who it was and I know who killed Danny and she has to wait for the phone being switched on and follow the signal, it will lead her right to them but she will get a shock when she finds them. Please Rose, promise me you'll do it now and then come back in and tell me you've done as I asked."

"I'll do that Alec, I'll be right back, just don't you go dying on me before I do. You have some explaining to do Mister."

Alec would have smiled if he had been able to. All he could do was hold on and hope Owen could get him to Torchwood – pronto. He had almost left it too late this time and for once, he should have taken advice.

Out in the corridor, Rose scampered away to call Pete despite the time. Alec obviously knew it was imperative for him to be told and to contact Owen. She hadn't seen him in years but if anyone knew about aliens, other than herself, he was the person. Pete wasn't a bit annoyed she had called him and said he would take care of it and would explain everything to her. He said Owen would contact the hospital and when Alec had stabilised, they would get an ambulance to take him to the nearest zeppelin port and get him to Torchwood where a surgeon was on standby when Alec was fit enough to undergo the operation – for a pacemaker fitting.

Rose was horrified. Why hadn't someone told her he was a time bomb waiting to explode? Someone was going to suffer for this, who decided if she was to be kept in the dark? It was bad enough Alec telling her he was the Doctor's clone but him being so ill? She was furious with everyone – including herself for pushing him away when he needed her. What would her Doctor think of her? She had changed during the last seven years, seemingly for the worse. The old Rose Tyler would have marched in and taken control over him and he would never have got himself into this state.

She thanked Pete, who said for her to call in the morning with any news about Alec and that the ambulance would come for him as soon as the hospital said he could travel and she would be informed – if she wanted to go with him.

She went back to Ellie.

"What was all that about Rose? What haven't you been telling me? Were you and Hardy together?"

"No, nothing like that. I used to be friends with his…" she stopped before she said twin brother.

"With who Rose? Has he got a brother or something? He never talks about himself."

Rose saw that as a way out and hated herself for lying to her friend.

"Yes, not his real brother, someone who was like a brother to him and looked exactly like him. When I first saw him, I thought he was him but he told me he wasn't, I didn't know Alec before that." That bit was true at least. "I didn't know what to think Ellie, I knew it wasn't my friend but I wanted him to be, that was why I stayed away but I had no idea he was ill. You should go home, I'll stay with him, my dad's taking care of everything. You'll have to tell your chief in the morning, tell her she'll get the paperwork for his medical leave."

"Why is your stepfather involved if you don't know Alec?"

Rose could only guess Alec had gone to Pete for help and since he was the Doctor's clone, had taken him under his wing and promised to help him.

"Because my dad owed him for something years ago."

Rose left her and went back into Alec's room, despite a look from the nurse who had just stepped away from him, having being told Rose was to have full access to his room and no questions. The nurse knew of Alec's reputation and was half afraid he would get up and walk out on her.

Rose walked up to his bed and took his hand.

"I'm sorry Alec, I should have been there for you."

There were tears falling down her face.

Alec squeezed her hand.

"It's ok Rose, I understand. There's no need to say anything. Just do one thing for me?"

Rose wiped her eyes.

"I think I owe you that much. I was stupid to push you away, you're his twin brother no matter what. I shouldn't have pushed you away."

Alec tried to smile.

"I was just as bad, I didn't think you'd want me if I wasn't him."

Rose let out a laugh.

"Guess nothing's changed much then. I promise I'll do anything you ask. Do you want me to go with you, to London?"

"You'd do that?"

"Yeah. I just have to do a few things, close down my internet sales and get my assistant to look after the shop while I'm away."

"You don't have to do that. I take it your shop is doing well?"

"Yeah, mostly internet sales but it's doing okay."

"There's just one thing though Rose. You might be coming back on your own."

Chapter 10

Rose looked at him. This was not the same Doctor who left her on that beach in Norway or the man she used to travel with. Her best friend, the love of her life. Alec was a broken man, he had been suffering all this time, since his arrival and she had ignored him when he came to tell her. How could he forgive her? Now she was going to make up for it and never leave his side, for however long that might be.

"Alec, try to get some rest, I'll come back first thing, I promise and Pete said everything will be taken care of. You went to him, didn't you? When you became ill."

"Not at first, I hesitated because I didn't know if he would help me but once I knew no-one else could help me, I went to him. Rose, I'm sorry I didn't come to you for help."

"It's okay Alec, get some rest. I'll look after you now."

Alec took both her hands and Rose sat on the side of his bed, getting a funny look from the nurse who swore the woman had said earlier she just knew him.

"Thank you."

He closed his eyes and lay back on the pillow. The heart monitor was still beeping and Rose knew he was resting, probably for the first time since he had got ill.

She crossed over to the nurse after kissing his cheek.

"Please tell him I'll be back in a few hours, I have some things to do. I expect to be let back in here when I do come back or you'll have to answer to him and believe me, you wouldn't want that."

The nurse nodded. Rose knew what his twin had been like, she had no reason to think Alec would be any different. She was tired when she got back but grabbed a few essentials and put them in a holdall, then set her alarm for three hours, it was already well after 2am and then she laid back on her bed and tried to get a few hours sleep.

By 6.30 am, she was getting a taxi to the hospital, there was no point in taking her car if she was going to London with him. She had gone on the auction site and cancelled her listings, only the outstanding orders were left and she composed a message to Sarah, telling her she would ring her when she could and asked her to open the shop at eleven and everything would be taken care of during her absence. She explained a friend had been taken ill and she was looking after him.

Alec woke up just after 7am to feel someone holding his hand and a head on his legs. It could only be Rose. She had only been there twenty minutes and had fallen back asleep. He looked up as a nurse came in with some tea for him, he just put his finger to his lips and shushed her. The nurse took the readings from the monitors and smiled at Rose. By 8am, Rose was just coming round, a sheepish grin on her face as she realised she had fallen asleep on him and he was awake.

"Hi, I thought I was the patient around here?" Alec smiled as she sat up, still holding his hand.

"Hi. Are you feeling better? You look better than you did earlier, you gave poor Ellie quite a shock."

"I vaguely remember her saying she wouldn't forgive me if she had to give me the kiss of life."

Rose laughed. "We have a lot to talk about but let's get you well first."

"I know, I'm sorry I stayed away but I didn't think you wanted me."

"I was making you suffer for leaving me here for seven years. I would have come round eventually but I didn't know you were running out of time. You should have told me."

"What then? I'm not him Rose, I didn't know you, not until I came here."

"It doesn't matter, you're still him."

She wanted to say still part of him but didn't want to be overheard even though they were talking in whispers.

"Yes, well, about that. I have a lot to tell you and you'll have to fill in some of the gaps I'm missing. I can remember most things, it's just you weren't there."

"Don't worry about it Alec, it doesn't matter. I can remember for both of us. Maybe there's a reason why you don't remember me and of course, you'd want to forget my mother."

Alec smiled. From what he had seen of Jackie Tyler, he couldn't imagine what Rose meant but it was obviously a joke between Rose and his twin.

Rose went out to phone Pete while Alec had his breakfast and then went to find some breakfast herself. Pete had some news for her.

"Owen is arranging a zeppelin on standby, it will be easier to bring Alec to London that way than a three hour drive by ambulance. It may be this afternoon or tomorrow now, they're keeping him stabilized for now and he can't do anything in hospital."

"Don't bet on it, knowing the other one. We made up by the way, I've been ignoring him for two months, did he tell you?"

"Not exactly. He asked me a few times what he should do. I was the one that told him to give you some space, seems like he took it literally. We should have told you about him but your mother and I, we didn't want to upset you."

"Well I'm staying with him, no matter what. We can work out the details later. He says he doesn't remember me."

"I know, that's what we didn't want to tell you."

"Well I know now and it makes no difference, it never would have, I was just mad at him, making him feel the way I did when he left me here though I shouldn't have taken it out on Alec, he wasn't the one."

"I'll explain everything when you two get to London. There will be another ambulance waiting to meet the zeppelin when it docks, just a short ride from Torchwood. Alec will be taken to the med lab and he'll be monitored until Owen says the operation can go ahead."

"How long will that be? It might be too late."

"Rose, he won't leave it too late, relax, we won't let anything happen to him that isn't beyond our control. We'll do everything we can, just leave it to us, you just look after him. Be ready to leave when the ambulance gets there. What are you doing about your shop?"

"I've got it sorted. I'm just worried about Ellie."


"Because Alec told me to tell her he knew who had killed Danny and she wouldn't like it. That means it's someone close. She's just waiting to confirm it, it may be today or tomorrow, I don't know but I should be here when she finds out."

"We can't delay getting Alec here, we can't risk it. You can keep in touch with your friend by phone."

"It won't be the same. Can you make sure Alec gets the credit for it? They may bring someone in to replace him and he's done all that hard work, he deserves to be recognised for it."

"He will, I'll make sure of it. No-one else will take the credit for it. Whoever replaces him will be told that."

She went back to Alec's room. He had his eyes closed and she sat beside him, taking his hand again. He woke up just after ten. Rose had been back out to call Ellie, someone was always in the room with him so she let Ellie know how he was doing.

"Is he going to be okay Rose? I mean he's a real pain but I had no idea he was so ill. What happened to make him that way? Just how well do you know him?"

"I saw him on TV, the night Danny died, I thought he was someone I used to know so I wanted to see him. He told me he wasn't him and he went off – end of story."

Ellie wasn't having it.

"That's rubbish Rose and you know it. Why would your stepfather be helping him if that was the case?"

"Ellie, please, just leave it." She knew her friend wouldn't let it rest. "Remember the Cyberman invasion? Alec helped him to try to save his first wife, he owed him. Okay?"

It was near enough. It was all she could tell her without saying who Alec actually was.

Ellie seemed satisfied and told her to tell him that the phone hasn't been switched on yet and she was continuing to question the other two suspects and he'd know who they were.

As Alec woke up, he was aware Rose was still holding his hand. He regretted not letting her in on his secret, she could have made things so much better for him but he had wanted to respect her wishes.

"Hi again, you're making a habit of being here when I wake up."

"Best get used to it then. As soon as the staff here say you can travel, an ambulance will take you to the nearest zeppelin port and take you to London. Do you need anything from your hotel?"

"No, I'll manage."

"It's no trouble, I can nip over and get what you need. Is there anything in your pockets you want me to look after?"

Alec managed a smile.

"Right hand inside pocket of my jacket, there are two items you can keep safe for me."

Rose retrieved them.

"Well, can't have these going missing can we?" she smiled, putting the sonic screwdriver and the psychic paper in her purse.

"I want those back Miss Tyler."

"When you tell me exactly why you chose to come here and I don't mean to Broadchurch."

"I'll tell you everything when we get to London, I promise. Come here."

He patted a space he had made on the bed.

"Nurse, can we have a few minutes?" he asked.

"I promise I'll come and get you if he needs anything and you have him monitored," Rose added.

The nurse nodded and left the room.

"Right Alec Hardy, you tell me now and I don't want anything left out."

"Yes Ma'am."

So he told her about the meta-crisis again and how he had absorbed some of Donna's traits and how he had covered them by adopting a Scottish accent and how he became Alec Hardy.

"It was Donna's idea for me to come here. She knew all about you and I swear Rose, if I'd have the time when we landed here, I would have found out more about you but I was so angry, with my twin because he was angry with me and he offered me a part of the Tardis, to grow my own but I turned it down. I didn't want anything to do with my twin and if I'd have accepted it, I would have accepted help from him and I didn't want it."

"But why Alec? It's not like you haven't wiped out a few species before. What was so different this time?"

Alec looked at her.

"Because I didn't give them a choice. I just did it to fulfil a prophecy. Donna told me to wait but I couldn't because Davros was about to continue what he was doing whether he had the reality bomb or not and I had to stop him."

"Who's Davros?"

"The creator of all the Daleks."

"I thought that was the emperor?"

"No, Davros created them out of the people of Skaro. Sort of."

"But when he left you here, why did he tell you to find me?"

"I don't know because I didn't know who you were, telling me to find you must have been his way of making sure I would be okay but my stupid pride got in the way. I told you, I know he loved you."

Rose moved even closer, perched on the bed.

"You thought I wanted him but don't you see Alec? He sent me you. He wasn't doing it just for you, he was leaving you here for me."

Alec thought just how stupid he really had been. Rose closed the short gap between them and gave him a light kiss on his lips and Alec felt himself giving in and kissing her back despite the breathing tube.

"You always were a 'nana."

Alec managed a smile. He supposed he was.

"So you forgive me then? For taking nearly four years to come and find you."

"Not entirely, you have a lot of grovelling and making up to do Alec Hardy. How did you even come up with that name?"

"I don't know. I had booked into a hotel in Bergen and had to sign my name and I couldn't put the Doctor, mainly because I didn't want anything to do with him and it seemed as good a name as any. Anyway, I checked up to see if there was a real one and there wasn't so I hitched a ride from Norway to Glasgow and set myself up. I didn't know what I was going to do when I got there, I thought about being a teacher then those two girls were murdered and so I became a detective. Fat lot of good that did, I never solved the case."

"Well maybe that was because you weren't using that Timelord brain of yours to its full capacity, you were being too human, trying to fit in."

"Maybe you're right. You know me so well but I don't know you. How can you ever forgive me?"

"Don't be daft, that's what I do and I'll help you remember. I always said that it's better with two. But first, we need to get you well, bringing you up to date with all we did together is going to take quite a while so you had better get yourself fixed first. What's Torchwood doing to help?"

"Doctor Harper was going through all the medical technology they had to see if there was something to fix me and avoiding me having to go through surgery but he hasn't come across anything to help. There are some things they don't understand that I'm going to go through when I get there. Rose, can you go to my hotel and get a few things for me?"

"Sure. I'll go now before they come for you, I've already packed a bag, it's in the corner. If they come for you, tell them they have to wait for me, Pete Tyler's orders. I'll let the staff know and I have to call Ellie again. You know who it is, don't you?"

Alec nodded. He wanted to be wrong but the evidence was overwhelming. For once he had used his Timelord brain to work it out and he shouldn't have waited so long to do so. If he'd used it before then he wouldn't be lying in a hospital bed at this present moment but there again, Rose may not have just kissed him and that had been his best experience since his creation.

Rose kissed him goodbye, awkwardly as there were still tubes in him and went off to convince Becca Fisher to let her in his room to pack a few things but since she had covered up his last episode, she went with Rose while she packed some clothes and other needs and was soon back at the hospital. She had called Ellie and Sarah, Sarah agreeing to hold the fort and she said her sister was interested in maybe helping out if need be but Rose said she would put the internet orders on hold for the time being as she wasn't sure if she was going to continue this but told her not to worry, everything would be taken care of and she wouldn't be giving up just yet.

Ellie had no news for her.

"Tell Hardy we're still questioning the two we have in custody. A new DI is being sent, he'll be here soon, someone from Exeter. Hope he's not as grumpy as your new boyfriend. Don't try denying it Rose Tyler, I knew there was something between you too."

Rose let out a laugh.

"Yeah well, it just took him nearly dying to bring us both to our senses shall we say but you know why he was grumpy Ellie, he was ill."

Ellie had to concede on that one.

"Just tell him he'll have to fight me for his job when he gets back, I'll not give up that easily if that's what he thinks. Seriously though, what are his chances?"

"Well if my dad gets him the best care, I'd say pretty good."

"Well tell him I'll send him some grapes. I'm just worried over one thing though, what he said about me not liking the fact of who will switch on the missing phone. Does it mean it's someone I know well?"

"I can't tell you that Ellie, he never said who it was so maybe he doesn't want me to know either. It must be someone we both know very well."

Rose said goodbye and opened the door to Alec's room. One of the nurses said the ambulance had just arrived to take them to the zeppelin port and staff were just waiting for Alec to get dressed so Rose went in and retrieved her own shoulder bag and Alec was behind the curtain getting dressed, with help from a male orderly who was just putting wires back into the heart rate monitor.

"Ready to go Alec?" Rose called from the other side of the curtain.

"As ready as I'll ever be. Did you talk to Miller?"

"Yeah," she replied as Alec pulled back the curtain. "She's worried about it being someone she knows."

Rose just hoped it wasn't someone too near to home, like it being Joe Miller.

Chapter 11

Alec insisted on sitting up in the ambulance on their way to the zeppelin port and they were soon taking a smooth ride up to London in a private cabin, him still being hooked up to a monitor and a nurse stationed right outside the door, Alec insisting Rose could look after him. He said he felt better than he had the night before and was now questioning the urgency to get him to London.

"I could have finished this case you know, I was so close to bringing the killer in."

"Yes, I know but you'll still get all the credit for it, dad will make sure of that."

"But I didn't see it through Rose, again. I'm rubbish at being a detective, I should have gone into teaching."

"No you shouldn't have, you're doing what you always did – helping people. You can't get it right all the time. How were you to know you would walk right into another case when you arrived in Broadchurch?"

"If I'd still been a full Timelord I would have known. I could have seen the timelines and maybe prevented it or done something instead of taking two months to figure it out and even longer in Sandbrook. That wasn't how I used to do things and I know it. I was so angry with myself and with him, I let that get in the way."

Rose took his hands.

"You were angry when you first met me but you changed, for the better. You were fresh from the Time War when I met you but you said I made you better. That word, 'Run' was the first word you said to me in the basement of that department store I used to work in and we never stopped running until the day I came here. I was the one that ran away, from everything when you said goodbye to me on that beach in Norway, seven years ago. That's why he brought you there, so you would remember me and find me."

Alec went silent, looking at her. How could he have doubted she would do any less for him than she had for his twin?
"But I didn't remember you Rose, for four years I've fought against finding you because when you found me, I saw the look of disappointment in your face when I said I wasn't him."

"Disappointment? You thought I was disappointed with you?" Rose smiled. "You are a dunce sometimes, do you know that?"

"Yes, Donna was constantly telling me that."

"Yeah? I wish I could meet her sometime and if you thought me meeting Sarah-Jane was embarrassing enough, that would be nothing compared to what Donna and I could tell each other."

Alec smiled. "You met Sarah-Jane? Rose, I wish I could remember, really I do but everything up until I met Donna the first time, everything I did I either did it alone or someone else was there."

"You met Donna twice?"

"Yes, the first time, she had the sense to walk away but I met her again and she travelled with me, right up until I came here. That was when I split from the other me. Everything we shared, our thoughts and memories of what we did, apart from you is still here."

He pointed to his head.

Rose felt a tear at that. It hit home like a sledgehammer – her Doctor had not wanted to share his remembrance of her but had relented at the last minute.

"Do you think he did it on purpose?"

"Did what?" Alec asked, leaning back.

"Took those memories away so you didn't know me. So you would discover me for yourself."

"Well he had that spare hand in some sort of a stasis jar for quite a while and there are some things I wasn't aware of but to take memories of you away? I don't know how he would do that. It would need direct access to my mind. I do know one thing – that Donna wouldn't have survived having a Timelord brain, he would have wiped her mind the moment he got into the Tardis, everything they did together, to prevent her mind from overloading. She wouldn't have remembered him."

Rose looked at him.

"Alec, did anyone mention me, in the Tardis if you say you were with other people?"

"No but even back then, I didn't know who Mickey was at the time if you think at the same time he wiped Donna's mind, he erased any traces of you. He had to have done it before then but I had no direct connection to him and even then, Donna knew about you, I would have got it from her."

"I suppose so. We'll figure it out Alec, just like we always have done. Just out of curiosity, how did you adopt that accent of yours? I remember you talking like that when we met Queen Victoria in Scotland."

"Rose, if you had merged with Donna, a temp from Chiswick who talked more than I used to do, you would have changed your accent as well plus, I was in Scotland, I had to blend in or get lynched."

Rose smiled and snuggled up to him on the lounge seat. Alec smiled back and if there hadn't been a bunch of wires in the way he would have taken her into his arms and hugged her and never let go again. Maybe up until he was left on that beach, his twin hadn't wanted to share her but he had realised before it was too late that he was never going to see Rose again and she was right, he sent him to her as a way to try to make up for it.

They managed to share a few kisses, rather awkwardly by the time the zeppelin reached London and their short ride to Torchwood, they were holding hands. Alec insisted on walking into the building, the very one he had been thrown out of a few months back and was greeted by Owen and Jake.

"Back so soon Alec?" Jake smiled. "And as for you Rose Tyler, where have you been hiding yourself?"

Rose smiled and gave him a hug. Jake had seen them holding hands.

"He found you then?"

Rose just shrugged her shoulders at him and went to take Alec's hand again.

"Owen, thanks for getting us here so quickly."

"Nice to see you again Rose. I'm glad he found you."

Pete came out to join them and Rose let go of Alec's hand and hugged her stepfather, whispering "Thanks" but she was still mad at him for not telling her about Alec but that would have to wait. She took Alec's hand again and they went inside and down to the med lab, getting Alec settled and Owen doing some more tests on him. His verdict was that it was safe to let him just rest for a few days and Rose asked if it needed to be there.

"I should insist he stays here but if you promise to give him 24 hr care, I could leave him in your more than capable hands I suppose." Then he turned to Alec. "If I release you into Rose's care, will you promise me you won't do anything stupid like chase a suspect down a cliff path?"

Rose had told Pete how he had landed himself in hospital this time.

Alec managed a smile.

"Since there are no cliffs or suspects around here, I think it's safe to say you can leave me with her. Do you want me to take a look at that medical equipment while I'm here?"

"No, it can wait, you get some rest. If we can't find anything out of what you look over, we'll have to go for the surgery and if you have a few days rest, we can get on with it when you come back. Shall we say be back here on Monday morning? You can walk around, you don't have to stay in bed but nothing strenuous so don't even think about tangling with Rose – yet."

"You have a filthy mind Owen Harper," Rose laughingly replied.

"I don't have to be a rocket scientist to work you two out. Go on, get out of here and come straight back at the first sign of anything going wrong."

Alec fastened his shirt as a technician unhooked him from the various wires. While he was doing that, Rose took Owen to one side.

"Be honest with me Owen, if he has to go for the operation, what are his chances?"

"Honestly? He could have died Rose and he knew it but he had to go and do his job, too seriously for my liking. I wanted him to go on medical leave weeks ago but he insisted on carrying on. Everything's been taken care of in that regard, his boss will get the appropriate paperwork and when he's fit, he'll be cleared for duty if he wants to go back. Rose, I know about Timelords, how they have two hearts, maybe they are not meant to manage with only one and he's a miracle."

Rose looked back at Alec who was almost done. She whispered closely to Owen.

"You have no idea Owen and thanks for all you're doing."

"I just wish he would have let me do it sooner. Take care of him, I expect him back here in one piece on Monday morning. Now scarper."

Rose gave him a kiss on the cheek and went to join Alec, who looked slightly jealous so she kissed him full on his lips.
"I've known Owen for seven years Alec and believe me, he's tried to ask me out."

Alec smiled and now he was free of the wires, held his arms out and wrapped them around her.

"Did I say anything?" he asked, kissing her forehead.

"You didn't have to. Come on. I'll take you home, my mum will just love to fuss over you until Monday. I take it she's spent a bit of time with you?"

"Your stepfather invited me to dinner before I left for Broadchurch. She was a bit suspicious of me, like she was comparing me with my twin and she couldn't decide how much alike we were."

They went back to reception, Jake was there to greet them.

"There's a car waiting to take you back to the mansion and someone will pick the two of you up on Monday morning to bring you back. If you need to come back before then, just call."

"Thanks Jake. Has my dad left yet?"

"No, he's doing a bit of work, probably talking to the chief constable about Alec's future. Don't worry mate, he'll get everything sorted."

"Thanks Jake, you've been a great help."

Alec held his free hand out, the other one, Rose wouldn't let go of.

Once back at the mansion, Jackie did indeed make a fuss over Alec, saying she had one of the guest rooms made up for him but Rose said he was going to share with her, much to both Alec's and her mother's surprise.

"I'm not letting you out of my sight Alec. What if something happens to you during the night? I'm responsible for you now. You did so much for me when we travelled together and I know you don't remember it but I owe you for when you used to look after me. Mum, when's Tony back from school?"

"Soon, your dad's picking him up, it's all arranged. He's missed you."

Rose knew, she had missed her brother too.

After Tony got home and made friends with Alec, he wanted them to continue their conversation about when Rose used to travel with him and also, their sleeping arrangements.

"Rose, I really appreciate your offer of watching me 24 hrs a day but I can sleep on my own, really."

"Maybe but answer me this Alec. Have you really slept properly since you became ill?"

She saw the look in his eyes. He didn't need to answer her.

"So don't be so stubborn then. I promise to behave myself, we used to share many a time on the Tardis and when we got stranded anywhere or even chucked in a prison cell together. If it puts your mind at ease, we never had sex or anything, our relationship never got to that stage. He only kissed me once, well I kissed him, when I was possessed by Cassandra."

"I met Cassandra again, she was in that hospital on New Earth but she was in the body of this force grown clone. I went there when I got a message on the psychic paper and speaking of which, you still have that and my sonic screwdriver."

Rose smiled. It was a good thing she still remembered that kiss, it had come back to her afterwards and she had cursed herself that she hadn't thought of it first.

"He might never have really kissed you Rose and maybe there was a reason but I'm not him. I would never withhold my feelings and what I feel right now is that I really do want to get to know you because I can see why he stayed with you. Maybe that was something he never wanted to share with me."

"We can start again Alec, just me and you and I don't expect you to be like him. We can create our own memories and maybe that was what he intended."

So that settled, the first night they spent in the Tyler mansion together consisted of them kissing for a while and Alec fell asleep properly for the first time in almost two years. As he drifted off, Rose was resting her head in the crook of his neck and he was stroking her cheek with one hand and his other arm was under her, holding her.

He thanked all the stars he was with her and just wished he knew the reason why she had taken him on but was glad that she had despite his confession of him having no recollection of the times she had mentioned and yet she was still here. She was amazing and no wonder his other self had loved her because he was falling in love with her himself and he had every intention of surviving the operation if it came down to him having one.

The next few days, Rose let him go out with her for an hour or so, just to get outside. Alec had received a call from Ellie – she had been gutted to find out she had been living with the killer of Danny Latimer and Alec wanted Rose to go back to Broadchurch to be with her but she refused to leave him. Ellie had insisted she knew nothing about it and Alec was given full credit for the events leading up to the arrest. It was made public he had battled an illness to bring the culprit to justice and Pete kept his word that the detective who took over from Alec gave him full credit for it, stating they would not have concluded the case without him and that upon his recovery, he would be reinstated.

Then Monday morning was looming, so on Sunday night when Alec decided he wanted to up their new found relationship, Rose had to fend him off.

"Come on Rose, just a bit of fun, it might be our only chance, are you going to deny me?"

"Don't say that Alec, it makes it sound like you're not planning on coming back when you go to Torchwood tomorrow."

"I still might not you know, despite my superior biology, if my heart gives up, I don't have one on standby."

"Don't make it sound like that. Maybe you'll find something tomorrow when you look through those alien devices, it's got to be worth a try if they don't know what they are and what they do. I remember a few things you told people what they actually did, like when we went to Van Staten's museum."

"You were there with me when I found that Dalek?"

"Yes, I was the one that freed it. I also told it to destroy itself so don't you tell me you think you're the only one who can destroy a whole species. You don't have an exclusive on that score you know and since you've forgotten, I was the one that wiped out an entire Dalek empire to save you and I was the one that made you change."

"What? You made me regenerate? But I was on my own, Jack had gone off and I was facing the Daleks on my own when a bright light appeared from the Tardis. I thought it was the ship then all I remember was waking up on the floor and I was on my way back to Earth. I didn't even know I'd regenerated until I realised my clothes didn't fit and somehow, I don't know how, I ended up on the Sycorax ship in a pair of pyjamas with Harriet Jones and her assistant."

Rose started giggling, it sounded so ludicrous.

"What's so funny?" Alec asked.

Rose recovered and sat up, looking at him.

"Don't you think it was rather strange Alec? I mean it's like having a photo taken with someone then they disappear and you're left with an arm stuck in mid air. Talk about 'Back to the future'."

She flipped over from her side and leaned on him, kissing him. Alec wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer.

"Come here Rose, we were negotiating before were got side-tracked."

"Negotiating what?"

"You forgiving me for leaving you for four years. I think we have a lot of making up to do."

"Oh yeah? Better get started then," she replied, turning out the bedside lamp and laying on him. "Just don't you get too excited, I don't want to explain to Owen why you look worse than when he last saw you."

Alec smiled. That was the least of his problems and Rose Tyler was laying on him and kissing him. If he went in hospital now, he'd be happy.

Chapter 12

Alec had lost his t-shirt when he woke up the next morning, feeling better than he had in a long time. Rose was wrapped around him wearing just his t-shirt and nothing else and they had gingerly explored each other without actually going the whole way and he felt fully relaxed and Rose falling asleep on him had been the icing on the cake.

Rose was stirring and he wished he could remember if his other self had seen her waking up in the mornings and if he had, he envied him.

"Morning sleepy, we have an important day today but first, come here and convince me I wasn't dreaming last night."

Rose thought she would have some fun with him.

"What? What am I doing in just your t-shirt? What did we do last night and more importantly, what didn't we do last night?"

She pretended to look embarrassed and tried pulling the t-shirt down, not that it did any good as she felt his shorts directly under her.

Alec tried not to be disappointed.

"Rose, you mean you don't remember us, you know, having sex?"


She scurried off him across to the other side of the bed and looked at him, half getting out of it and reaching for her pyjama bottoms that had been tossed over the headboard.

"Rose I'm sorry, I mean we didn't actually have sex, properly that is. We just, you know, fooled around and we just, well. I shouldn't have let it go so far, I'm sorry. I'll go to the guest room your mother allocated me."

He started pulling the covers back and Rose threw the pyjama bottoms at him, landing on the back of his head. He turned back and instead of getting out of bed, he launched himself at her, throwing the offending article back at her. Rose was giggling.

"Plum. Of course I knew what we did last night. Had you there, didn't I?"

"That wasn't funny Rose. Was that some attempt to get your own back on me for ignoring you for two months? Because if it is, I suppose I deserved it."

"I was just winding you up. Your hair isn't all spiky like it used to be. You, Alec Hardy, are too stuffy now and you need to become unstuffy."

Rose moved nearer to him and ran her fingers through his hair, ruffling it up until she looked at him, pleased with her work.

"That's better. Now come back here and snog the life out of me. And what's this about going too far? We didn't go far enough for my liking but that was only because I was going easy on you. I wanted you to be able to keep up with me."

"Oh you did, did you? I'll show you who can't keep up with who, Miss Tyler, just as soon as I get myself well again."

"Well come here and practice," she teased, reaching for the waistband of his shorts.

Alec let her pull them down slightly then stopped her, pulling his t-shirt up that she was still wearing.

"After you Miss Tyler."

Two hours later, they were arriving back at the med lab and getting Alec settled in. This time he was staying put – no more reprieves. Owen said that his colleague, a heart surgeon called Doctor Richards was coming to see Alec in the afternoon and had been sworn to secrecy about who Alec actually was and Owen said the man was trustworthy and had sighed a non-disclosure form. Rose knew what would happen to him if word got out about Alec's physiology not being quite human.

Rose settled herself into the next bed, she had only brought t-shirts and jeans, easy to store and Owen said she had full use of the kitchen area to make drinks and all meals would be brought down from the staff canteen, which was open 24 hrs so she had nowhere to go. If she wanted to make phone calls though, she had to go into the kitchen, Alec had been hooked up to even more monitors than before and he was feeling like every inch of him was covered.

Later, when they were alone, after being told Alec would be examined by the specialist, Rose closed the door after assuring the nurse who had been assigned to him that she would look after him, she took her shoes off and Alec moved over so she could just rest on the edge of his hospital bed.

"They should make these things wider," she complained, snuggling up to him as he put his arm around her.

"Maybe you should get someone to move your bed nearer mine, I don't want to sleep alone tonight, not if it's my last one."

Rose looked up at him from where she was trying not to fall down onto the floor.

"Alec, don't you dare even think like that. You've got the best care money can buy and there's every chance in the world you're going to get through this so don't you even think for one second that anyone is going to give up on you. If they do, they'll answer to me."

Alec kissed her forehead.

"I know Rose but we have to face reality."

"Alec Hardy, you were right. You are not the Doctor. He wouldn't have given up and accepted everything the way you have and do you know what?"

Alec looked at her. She was giving up on him and he expected her to get off the bed and storm out.

"That makes you ten times braver than him. He had the capacity to heal himself or get something from the Tardis to heal himself, he would have thought of a way to overcome any problem and at worse he would have regenerated but you, you did it on your own. You did the one thing he never would have – you asked for help and after everything you did for this stupid universe, someone said yes, they would help you. Don't you see Alec, you chose to become human, to give everything up that was Timelord about you and use your capacity as a human to muddle through like the rest of us."

Alec smiled. He guessed he had always known that, from his creation that he was totally different than his twin – the reluctant clone, that was him. He had been human before, when he was with Martha and it had been a shock to come back to being a Timelord, plus an even bigger shock to find out Martha Jones had fallen in love with him and he'd gone after someone else.

"Rose, I still am part Timelord and yes, maybe I did try to ignore that side of me but maybe also I should start using that half, well maybe just a bit over half but I let the Donna part of me take over, I was too busy fighting my alien half but I'm not giving up Rose. Ask Owen to bring those alien devices in and let's see what we can find and tell him to bring the things they already looked at, they may have missed something."

"That's more like it Alec though you'll have to wait until Doctor Richards has been to see you first. Then before we settle down for the night, I'll have someone move the other bed. Just like the old team, Shiver and Shake."

"Which one am I then?" Alec asked, keeping her balanced.

"Oh, you're Shake," she replied, remembering just before they had been separated in the alternate reality's Torchwood, a few thousand feet above them. One of the reasons Rose couldn't bear being in the building although this hadn't been the actual one, they were to blame for letting the Cybermen cross to her world to start off with.

She reached up and they kissed, just as a knock on the door interrupted them. Rose neatly sat on the edge of the bed and called for whoever it was to come in. A young dark-skinned woman with jet black hair, wearing a coat and carrying a data tablet stood in the doorway.

Alec recognised her.

"Martha Jones."

"Excuse me, have we already met? I'm Doctor Jones, Dr Harper's assistant, well one of them. I'll be looking after you when he's not here but I came in early to introduce myself but you have the advantage. I take it I'm someone you know from the other universe then? Don't worry, I know all about you."

Then she turned to Rose, who was still holding Alec's hand.

"You must be Rose, I just about remember you, you were just leaving Torchwood. Owen said not to separate you two. He's outside talking with Doctor Richards about your case. He's been briefed that surgery may not be necessary if we can still find an alternative. Owen said he'll have everything sent down to you tomorrow, he wants you to get some rest just in case we have to opt for the surgery after all."

"You don't have anything that restores memories as well do you?" Alec asked, only half jokingly.

Rose's eyes widened.

"We haven't been looking for memory restorers Alec, just heart restorers but you're welcome to take a look when we bring everything down. Do you want to see the things we discarded as well, in case we missed something?"

"How perceptive of you Doctor Jones. Yes, I need to start using this Timelord brain again before it gets completely rusty. Rose said I've been too human for too long, now I'm going to prove her wrong."

"Yes, well you can do that tomorrow, Doctor Richards needs to give you a full examination and a scan so someone will collect you in twenty minutes so he can look at the results before he sees you. Oh and Rose, Owen said your father called and said he would come by later."

"Thanks Martha. I'm glad to see you made your grades. You were still a junior doctor when I last saw you."

"Well you have been away for over four years Rose, I've been qualified nearly that long. What have you been doing?"

"I went back to sketching, I've got my own gallery down in Broadchurch."

"Good for you. Always do something you like. I'll leave you two alone for now."

Martha left the room.

"You know her too?" Rose asked, not daring to find out how.

"The Martha Jones in my world used to travel with me. I told you, Mickey went after her."

"So you did but you said Martha, not Martha Jones."

"Well I had been talking about it to someone I didn't know, how was I supposed to explain it to you? Rose, it's been very difficult for me the last four years, not remembering you and knowing you probably knew all about him. I was reluctant to come and find you because I didn't know what you would make of me and I know now it was wrong of me."

"Yes it was Alec, you should have trusted him when he told you to find me, it was just as much for my sake as much as it was for yours. I could have helped you, don't you see that? You needn't have been on your own for the last four years and neither would I."

"I'm sorry Rose, I really am."

"Then let's put it behind us because now, Alec Hardy, you're rather stuck with me. I'm not saying I'll forget all that I did when I travelled with your twin but I can share the experiences with you if you want?"

"No, you don't have to, let's just make a fresh start, once I get out of here."

"We will Alec, I promise you."

Alec was taken for a scan and while the two doctors discussed Alec's case, Rose just lay on the bed with him and Alec held on to her, regretting every second he had delayed finding her. He had been stupid in not thinking Rose wouldn't care about him and he had learned she had been just as miserable as he had and they could have both made each other better. It didn't matter now, one way or another, the next few days would be crucial to his survival and now, he had a reason to fight more than he had ever done before. To win his battle and overcome his illness and win Rose because he still wasn't sure if she was doing this to comfort him or she was in it for the long term. He was now determined to find out.

Owen and Doctor Richards came into the room and asked Rose to leave but Alec insisted she stayed so she got out of the way and went to sit on a chair by her bed and listened to what the procedure entailed and when they thought they could go ahead. It was decided Alec would have a week's full bed rest, being allowed up for short periods to keep him from getting bored and being allowed to sit in a chair and watch TV but that was it. Rose asked why she couldn't just take him home for the week but they wanted him constantly monitored and Alec assured her it was only for a week, they could manage.

After Doctor Richards left, Rose asked Owen to move her bed next to Alec's in the evenings, which he agreed and would have someone come in after they had taken the final readings for the day but a nurse would be stationed outside the door 24hrs.

"I'll have some of those alien devices sent down tomorrow morning, see what you can find. Martha said something about restoring your memories. I've had some success with a device that may be what you need, it stimulates the brain receptors but in your case, I'm not sure whether it will do any good, since your brainwaves will be different. You need someone to share the memories more directly. I have another device that allows two people to do that. Can't you just do a mind meld or something?" Owen joked.

"You watch too much TV Owen," Rose laughed. "Seriously Alec, your twin could make mental contact with people, why don't you do it to me?"

"No, I would never do that to you Rose, not even to get the memories back. The most I could do is a surface scan but you would have to put blocks up, it would all be open to me, things you might not want me to know. Your feelings for him and anyone else you were close to, your feelings, if you have any, for me. Then would you actually want me to know what you and he used to share?"

Owen decided it was time to leave, things were getting very personal between the two of them.

"Of course I would Alec. How can you doubt that? You're part of him. You said you remember your past companions, Sarah-Jane, Donna and even Martha so why don't you want to know about your times with me? It was just as much you as it was him."

"Because I have a feeling it was more with you Rose, that's why. Deep down I know you and him shared something very special he's not shared with any other person he travelled with, before or after you. Why would you want me to know that?"

"You daft alien, okay, daft part alien. You listen to me. As far as I'm concerned, you are him, memories or not so do it, go into my mind and remember with me. Yes, there are things I might not want you to see and yes, I used to go out with Mickey, a long time ago but I moved on, when I met you. He probably knew your twin was going to bring you here, to me so he chose to stay behind again, like he did before."

She took his hands.

"Do it Alec, I have nothing to hide. I spent seven years waiting for you to come back, I'm not holding back any longer."

Chapter 13

"You have to sit up then, if you want to actually do this but I warn you, it might bring up some unwanted ones as well as good memories."

"I don't care Alec, I want this. Now just do it."

Rose sat at his side, facing him and carefully avoiding moving any wires and trusting Owen wouldn't let anyone interrupt them, Alec closed his eyes, prompting Rose to do the same.

"If you don't want me to dig too deep into something, imagine closing a door and I'll move away. It's been some time since I did this so it might take a while."

"I'm not going anywhere Alec."

She felt him poking around slowly in her mind, flinching at first until she got used to it then he went searching, Rose giggling when he saw her mother slapping him before he had changed and being embarrassed as she and Mickey fooled about in front of a fountain in London during a lunch break. Bit by bit, he picked his way through her memories, him regenerating in front of her after she came back to save him after he sent her home to save her from the Dalek fleet and her being so stubborn and opening the heart of the Tardis to be the one who saved him.

Then right up to him losing the Tardis and going down into the pit, how she never gave up and had to be dragged unconscious into the rocket to leave him behind. Of course, he didn't get his side of the events, only from her point of view but right up until the very end, when he had sent her to this universe to save her yet again, she had chosen to go back and not to leave him alone. He knew then just how amazing she was.

He broke the connection, his arms reaching out to support hers as she opened her eyes. Things were a lot clearer now, things were starting to make sense like pieces of a jigsaw coming together to create the whole picture. The times he had thought he was alone, Rose had been by his side, smiling, laughing, sometimes complaining but never once did she even contemplate leaving him, right up to the very last second as she was being pulled into the void, the look on her face told him she would never, ever leave him without putting up a fight. He was sad to see her saying goodbye on the very beach his twin had left him, four years ago.

Despite several wires in him, he pulled her close as he saw her crying.

"Rose, I'm so sorry. How could I have forgotten you?" He lifted her chin and leaned down awkwardly to kiss her. "Everything we did together, the times when you were left on your own to fend for yourself, all you did was think about me."

He had seen the times when she was on her own, having to fight on to save the both of them, like when he was sucked into a drawing, he didn't even remember that, never going to the Olympics she remembered and some other adventures they had shared from her angle but if it had been Rose's idea to go somewhere, he wouldn't remember it but it was as plain as day she had been there with him.

"What can I say Rose? Tell me how I can even begin to apologise for missing all that?"

"You don't have to Alec, you know now even though I can't show you what you did when I wasn't there. Maybe it will start to come back to you."

"Well it's a start."

It would have taken hours to tell him with words but directly linked, she had shown him in a few minutes. He held onto her, she was still crying, all the old memories having been stirred of their times together and Alec knew that she would never leave him now, not after what they had just shared. Now he had to get through this operation because he owed her a happy ending and he was going to see that she got it because he knew now that it had been his twin's intention all along to leave him here to find Rose, to make up for having to leave her here.

After they had their evening meal brought down and the nurse had taken the last readings, promising only to come in once or twice during the night, Martha came in to check up on him then sent an orderly to move Rose's bed as near as he could get it, giving them both a funny look but he was under orders. Then Rose put the TV on and they watched a film from the online library, snuggling up closely, both falling asleep after Alec defied orders and took his breathing tube out for a while, not daring to take out the wires to the monitors for fear of the nurse catching them doing what Owen had ordered them not to be doing although it wouldn't have stopped them.

After breakfast the next morning and yet another round of readings, Rose received a call from Beth Latimer, asking if she would be going to Danny's funeral on Friday. She explained she was with Alec and would try her utmost to come down for it and so would he if he hadn't gone for his operation by then, having to somehow persuade Owen to let them go for the day.

The first load of alien medical, or what they had thought was medical equipment arrived and Rose helped him sort through everything but nothing of use was found. After lunch though, the box full of equipment they had no clues as to what they actually did arrived.

Alec smiled as he recognised a few of them, tossing them to one side as pieces of junk and Rose smiling, just like she was watching him for the first time looking so much like the Doctor she used to know but this was a very independent Alec Hardy and that was quite obvious.

Then a few more things arrived as he had got through the objects in record time, Owen objecting, saying he didn't want him getting overtired. Alec's face lit up suddenly as he brought out a jar that looked like tiny glowing insects and Rose immediately recognised them. Nanogenes.

"Rose, you know what these are, don't you?"

Rose smiled. "Yes but can they help you?"

"You saw what they did."

"Yes, they repaired my hand when I got rope burns."

"How did you get rope burns? Oh, never mind that. More importantly, they can repair the body, back to its original state, look what they did for that boy, Jamie and those people who were from the hospital. Rose, they could actually do this."

"Really? You have to be 100% certain or they could turn you into a gas-mask zombie you know."

Alec smiled. "That was because they had the wrong template Rose, you saw what happened when I added the software patch."

Rose giggled. "So, I think you'd better run this by Owen, just in case something goes wrong. You can't just use them and not say."

Alec's face dropped. He used to be so impulsive, so independent and now he was grasping at anything that would give him time to make it up to Rose for leaving her, or rather for his twin leaving her but it was his one chance to change both their lives and that was what his other self would have wanted. He had spent four years hating his twin and he had only succeeded in hurting Rose when they could have been together. Well no more.

"Then get him in Rose and let's get this over with, there's only one way to find out."

Rose ushered Owen in to let an excited Alec explain what they did.

"Yes Alec, I know they repair the body but can they mend your heart? I didn't think about them to be honest but we were going back through everything, anything that might remotely help. Are you sure? As your doctor, I'd have to be present when you use them."

"Well, let's find out, shall we?"

And for a few moments, Rose could swear the old Doctor was still in there somewhere.

Alec was laid down flat and just lay on his pillow. All the wires were taken out of him and Rose stood behind him, wanting to hold his hand but he said no, the nanogenes had to repair his body from his own template and nothing should interfere. Owen placed the jar on the bedside table and wheeled it so it was directly over Alec and opened the jar, hastily retreating as Alec lay there. He was surrounded by them, bathed in a yellow glow that almost reminded Rose of his regeneration.

A few minutes later, their job done, the nanogenes retreated back to their jar and Owen closed it again, moving the table back. Alec just lay there, Rose grabbing his hand as she came to his side.

"Alec, please say something. How do you feel?"

Alec looked up at her. Owen was about to get the wires re-attached to him but Alec motioned him away.

"I don't think I'll be needing those Owen though I think you might want to re-examine me."

Rose looked at him.

"Well, are you going to tell me?" she asked as Owen checked Alec's heart.

"It's beating normally, no signs of the irregular ones. Can I just hook up one machine to you to make sure? Just for a couple of hours?"

Alec smiled. "Go ahead if it will please you. Just so long as I can get out of here soon."

"I promise Alec, just to satisfy my curiosity. I'll have you out of here after lunch. I would like you to take it easy for a while though."

Rose laughed. "Yeah Alec, you were on death's doorstep when you left Broadchurch and it would look a bit odd if you went bouncing back in after supposedly having surgery, how long do you reckon Owen? A few weeks to recover?"

Owen caught on.

*"Oh, I'd say a month to recover from the surgery should be sufficient although you'll have to stay out of sight. I can arrange for you two to stay here if you like."

Alec felt trapped.

"No way, I'm getting out of here as soon as I can."

"Relax Alec, we were just winding you up, you're such an easy target but you have to lie low, Owen's right. We can go back to my parent's house then we can go to Danny's funeral on Friday, say you're going for your operation next week, then we'll go on a two or three week holiday for you to recuperate."

"Sounds good to me Rose, can I come with you?" Owen joked.

Both Alec and Rose replied with a firm "No."

After lunch, as promised, Owen released Alec from his care. Pete had come down to join then after Rose had called him to tell him the good news and said their holiday was on him. So booking a last minute one online, Rose chose them a week in Majorca in a top hotel then two weeks onboard a luxury cruise liner, leaving the following Monday and Pete had someone take them back to Broadchurch to attend Danny's funeral although they couldn't tell anyone Alec was now well again.

When they were about to leave, Rose called Ellie to ask if she was going to the funeral but she said she couldn't face anyone. Then she put Alec on the phone.

"So Miller, what will you do now?"

"Make a fresh start. We moved out of the hotel room we were in, we're on the caravan park just down the coast, where that woman stayed. There's a swimming pool and the kids enjoy it and it's all holiday makers so no-one knows me."

"Does Tom want to go to the funeral, Rose and I could take him."

"No, Olly's taking him. You'll both come down and see us though, before you go back?"

Rose had told her Alec still had an operation to face and she hated lying to her friends but telling them the truth was totally out of the question.

So after travelling back to Broadchurch by car, Alec went to collect the rest of his things from the hotel and Rose repacked for their holiday, having to buy Alec some less 'stuffy' clothes as she called them and they both went to Danny's funeral, going afterwards to see Ellie, who hadn't noticed that Alec looked a lot healthier.

Rose went to visit her shop and told Sarah she would be back in a few weeks and put some of the prints back on the auction site, telling her to let her sister work with her if she wanted and send her details to the accountants who were taking care of everything.

A few days later, they were relaxing by the pool in a hotel in Palma and sipping fruit cocktails, which Rose later swapped for proper ones as they danced and Alec decided to take advantage of her as they snogged out in the corridor several times on the way to their room. Then once on the cruise, Rose having made sure it was stopping at Barcelona since he never did take her to the planet, they had a few close calls nearly getting caught in various places on the ship and laughing all the way back to their cabin.

They had gone over what Alec had seen in her mind more slowly, Rose filling in the gaps he had about when he thought he had been alone.

"Alec, you were never really alone, not ever. You had so many companions and I was only one of them."

"Oh Rose, you were never just one of them, both he and I knew that, well I do now and even before I learned everything, I knew it had to more than that. You were the one Rose, the one he would have stayed with if it had been possible, I'm sure of that but I wasn't connected with him for long enough to know how he really felt about you but know this Rose Tyler, I'm not afraid to tell you what he couldn't say that day on the beach."

They were standing on the deck, the coloured lights all around them as he had led her away from the dancing and the music to look at the stars, different stars to the ones they used to travel amongst and he now regretted not taking that piece of coral from his twin and growing his very own Tardis that would have worked in this universe if it actually grew here.

"Rose Tyler, I love you."

Rose pulled herself even closer to him, wrapping her arms around his slim waist as he did the same to her.

"I love you too Alec. It's a pity those nanogenes didn't restore you to a full Timelord though."

"No, I wouldn't have wanted that, they may have given me back the ability to regenerate and I never wanted that. Just one life is all I want, with you, if you'll have me?"

"Oh, I might just have to think about that Alec," she teased, ruffling her hands through his hair and spiking it up.

"Is that so. And how long is that going to take you?"

"Forever 'cos now we're both on a level footing, you're not over 900 years old any more and you can't disappear on me when I corner you."

Alec laughed and leaned down to kiss her.

"Who said I want to disappear on you?"

"Good, because you won't get the chance Alec Hardy."

"It never crossed my mind but you know one thing Rose?"

"What?" she asked, kissing him again.

"We may be grounded but we're about to start a whole new set of adventures."

"Yeah, like I said, it's better with two and I wouldn't swap this for anything. The domestic approach."

Alec smiled.

"The domestic approach. I can live with that," he replied as they stood wrapped around each other, Rose listening to his one strong heartbeat and Alec resting his head on hers.

Not quite The Doctor and Rose but as close as this universe was ever going to get. Sometimes the universe actually got it right, just this once.

The End!